Drunken Driving Can Prove Costly As Checking Begins At 14 Toll Gates In Odisha

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Cuttack: Acting on the directive of the Committee on Road Safety formed by the Supreme Court, Director General of Police (DGP) BK Sharma on Friday directed superintendents of police (SPs) to check drunken driving at the 14 toll gates across Odisha.

The checking will begin at the toll gates at Sheragarh, Panikoili, Dhenkikote, Palaspanga, Ramachandrapur, Pipili, Masunikani, Rajgangpur, Tapang, Langaleswar, Sasan, Attabira, Balichandrapur and Manguli from this evening.

The DGP in a circular has asked the SPs to select police officers carefully following legal and procedural aspects as per the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and  Motor Vehicle Act and take the following actions:

— Whenever any suspected case of drunken driving is committed in presence of a police officer, the police officer has to detain the vehicle along with the driver/rider and put him to ‘breath analyser test”.

— If the alcohol contents exceed 30 mg per 100 ml of blood or the drug consumed makes the driver/rider incapable of exercising proper control over the vehicle, the person concerned shall be arrested.

— The arrest memo shall be prepared by the officer in accordance with legal provisions enshrined under the CrPC.

— Within two hours of arrest, the arrestee shall be subjected to medical test by a registered medical practitioner for the purpose of collection of the specimen of his/her blood.

— Where the arrestee is required to provide blood specimen is a female, the specimen shall be taken  by a female medical practitioner only or in presence of a female, whether a medical practitioner or not.

— While arresting the offender, the police officer shall take appropriate steps for temporary disposal of the vehicle under section 202(3) of the Motor Vehicle Act.

— The offender will be arrested on detection of alcohol beyond 30 mg per 100 ml blood. If the arrestee does not furnish required surety/security for bail, he/she shall be forwarded to the jurisdictional court along with the prosecution report with the signature of two witnesses.

— Sincere effort must be made to ascertain the correct identity and address/cell number of the offender. CCTV footages of toll gates recording the checking may be retrieved and produced before the court during the trial if required.

— The police officers have been instructed to facilitate shifting of the stranded passengers of the detained vehicles by alternative modes of conveyance. They have been advised to show due courtesy to the elderly persons, women and children of the detained vehicles.

— Police officers have been strictly instructed to check only drivers suspected of drinking.

Notably, the Committee on Road Safety under the chairmanship of Justice Radhakrisnnan had directed the Odisha government to reduce the road accident fatality by 10% every year.

As drunken driving is one of the major factors responsible for most of the fatal as well as grievous road accident case, the Committee has categorically directed to prosecute the offenders so as to convict them by imprisonment and/or imposition of fine as prescribed under section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.

In compliance to the directive of the Committee, the state Home department had directed Odisha police to invoke legal provisions contemplated under Sections 202 and 203 of the Motor Vehicle Act, to contain drunken driving including the arrest of the offenders indulging in the act.

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