Everyone loves a good party in Goa. The cool sea breeze, the mouthwatering food, the availability of alcohol and the overall laid-back ambiance of the state, draw people by the thousands every year. But what happens if one decides to eat and make merry and then drive under the influence of alcohol? Drunk drivers in the state found out the hard way over this past weekend in Goa.
The Goa traffic and district police caught numerous drunk drivers during the drive
It was a weekend like any other in Goa except for one glaring difference. Between the wee hours of Friday and Saturday, Goa’s traffic police had a busy night. They conducted a well-publicized drive against the numerous drunk drivers in Goa. News reports said that on late Friday night, they caught two drunk drivers every minute. During the special 3 hour drive on Friday night, a total of 315 people were caught for driving under the influence of alcohol. All vehicles were impounded by the authorities and will only be released after court proceedings.
Approximately 140 alcometers were used in the late night drive to catch those driving in an inebriated state.
According to TOI, superintendent of police Dinraj Goverkar said that out of 315 cases, 194 cases have been booked by the traffic cell, 74 cases have been booked by the south Goa district police and 47 cases have been booked by the north Goa district police.
Deputy Superintendent, Dharmesh Angle said that all 315 vehicles were seized and impounded at various stations in the state. “The vehicles have to be released through court. We will send the papers to court on Monday,” he added.
The penalties for driving under the influence are steep
Forty-two police teams were stationed at Panaji, Mapusa, Pernem, Bicholim, Calangute, Anjuna, Ponda, Margao, Colva, Vasco, Dabolim, Quepem, Curchorem, and Canacona to catch drunk drivers.
The permissible legal limit for alcohol consumption is 30 mg per 100 ml of blood. Director General of Police (DGP) Dr. Muktesh Chander said, “Drunken driving/riding instances are increasing, therefore, we have started clamping down heavily. They (violator) will not only be prosecuted and cases sent to court but their licenses will be impounded for cancellation or suspension up to three months or more.”
“We will also be requesting the court to send the violator to jail. The prescribed jail sentence can be up to six months,” informed Chander.
He said that this increase was due to the fact that most violators were paying a fine and getting away with the crime. Chander said, “The main reason is that the people get away by paying fine so there is hardly any deterrence. The moment people start spending a night in jail I think it will act as a deterrent.”
Additionally, the DGP also mentioned that Goa police will soon have an e-challan system and it will maintain the record of the driver.
“In future, we will be conducting such drives at many places either by surprise or by announcing it in advance,” said (DGP) Dr. Muktesh Chander adding, “My intention is that everybody should be safe. Please do not drink and drive.”