Chandigarh: Drunken driving nakas are back— with two options for violators

On November 7, one night naka was held in the south zone. The second naka was put up on Sector 16/17 dividing road on Sunday night. The duration of nakas is around two-and-a-half hours. Minimum traffic cops are being deployed at these nakas while adopting all the Covid-19 precautions.

THE UT traffic police has resumed the drunken driving challan drive by giving two options to motorists: either blow into the pipe linked with alcohosensor or get their blood test done. The drive was discontinued after the imposition of lockdown in view of Covid-19 pandemic.
Only suspects are being asked to blow into the pipe. The drive was resumed on November 7. So far, no one was caught driving under the influence of alcohol. On November 7, one night naka was held in the south zone. The second naka was put up on Sector 16/17 dividing road on Sunday night. The duration of nakas is around two-and-a-half hours. Minimum traffic cops are being deployed at these nakas while adopting all the Covid-19 precautions.

SSP (Traffic) Manoj Kumar Meena said, “We have changed the complete procedures of drunken driving test. First of all, we are not randomly checking the people. Secondly, we are giving them the option of a blood test or blowing into the pipe attached with alcohosensor. Only suspected drivers are being given the options. Pipe attached with alcohosensor is used for one time. So far, no one has preferred blood test. Chances of drunken driving always increase during festival season. So far, no one was challaned at nakas.”

In March, PGI doctors had advised the Chandigarh Administration to suspend the drunken driving challans drive, finding the then procedures, including the use of single pipe for many people to blow into the alcosensor, faulty. PGI had advised the authorities to suspend the drive in view of the spread of Covid-19.

DSP (traffic) S P S Sondhi said, “We are following Covid-19 protocol very strictly. Nakas are for deterring the people from drunken driving. The nakas will be put up continuously in the coming days.”

Since March 25 when the lockdown was imposed, merely five people have been challaned for drunken driving. They were caught during random police checking instead of at drunken driving nakas. Drunken driving is a punishable offence under Section 185 of the Amended Motor Vehicle Act, 2019 with six years imprisonment and fine or with both. The fine starts from Rs 10,000. Only the magistrate has power to dispose of the drunken driving challan. The offence attracts the suspension of driving licence. The vehicle of the violator is also impounded.

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