79 Deaths Due To Drunken Driving During 2021, 663 DLs Suspended

Bhubaneswar: As many as 246 persons lost their lives in Odisha in road accidents caused due to drunken driving. As per information shared by the State Transport Authority(STA), 246 road mishaps last year have been attributed to drunken driving.

Total 151 persons were injured in these accidents. Despite a set of strict laws and regulations, drunk driving continues to be one of the major reasons behind road accidents in India, the STA stated.

In a state wide drive against drunken driving conducted by Transport Department in the last three months (April-June), a total of 2176 people have been detected driving under the influence of alcohol.

With COVID-related restrictions lifted by state government following a drastic dip in cases, Transport Department along with State Police resumed drive to check drunken driving in the month of April.

In accordance with the directives of the Supreme Court Committee on Road safety a total of 663 Driving Licenses (DLs) have been suspended. In a strict action 722 drunk drivers have been arrested by Police in the last three months.

“There has been a sizeable increase in the number of accidents ever since the drive against drunk driving had gone slack owing to the pandemic,” Additional Commissioner, Transport, Enforcement & Road Safety, Lalmohan Sethi said.

“After going easy on drunken driving during Covid pandemic time in view of the health hazards associated with breath analyser test, the enforcement squads have been asked to conduct such drives at regular intervals,” he added.

The September 2019 amendment of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 mentions that in the case of drunken driving, first-time offenders will face imprisonment up to six months and/or fine up to Rs 10,000. The second offence can lead to up to two years prison term and/or fine of Rs 15,000.