Drunk on the road? Hold your breath!

Written by: Pti
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Court Hammer
New Delhi, Mar 6: Irked over the menace of drunken driving, a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal has ordered the city police chief to make it mandatory to have breath analyser tests of the drivers of vehicles involved in road accidents.

MACT Judge Swarana Kanta Sharma gave the directions to the Delhi police commissioner noting that directions in this regard have been repeatedly issued in the past but to no avail.

"It is again directed that necessary directions be given to all the police stations investigating such cases and specifically to the MACT cells...that such test should be mandatorily carried out and report be filed along with the detailed accident report," the judge said.

"Copy of this order be sent to Commissioner of Police today itself with the direction to pass the necessary order and circulate these directions to all the DCPs concerned....to do the needful," the court said.

The judge also ordered the DCP, Central District, to file compliance report in this regard within 10 days.

The court ordered this while awarding a compensation of Rs 14,200 to Rama Shankar, who was injured in a road accident near Darya Ganj in May 2009. Shankar was rushed to a nearby hospital and he was discharged on the same day after treatment.

During the investigation, Vipin Kumar, driver of the offending vehicle, was found under the influence of liquor.

The court observed that people drive vehicles after consuming liquor as they are aware that if they meet with an accident, the financial burden is to be borne by the insurance company, with whom the vehicle is insured.

"The drivers of motor vehicles know that even if they are found to be driving in drunken state, they will only be challaned and if any accident is caused due to their drunk driving...it will be the insurance company who will pay the compensation amount.

"Since no financial burden falls upon them, they even do not hesitate to drive heavy vehicles after consuming liquor," the judge said.

The court, accordingly, ordered that drivers of the offending vehicles would pay 5 per cent of the compensation amount awarded to the injured as he was under the influence of liquor when the accident occurred.

"I am of the view that since the driver was driving the vehicle under the influence of liquor, he should also be burdened with some liability to pay part of the compensation," the judge said.


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