“The DRIVER is SAFER when the roads are DRY; the ROADS are SAFER when the DRIVER is DRY”

Since most of the road accidents in India are caused because of the drivers fault, it is but important that the driver must be completely conscious while driving and must not be intoxicated. Which is why, drunk driving is an offence in India like in many other countries worldwide. The scientific reason behind this is that, alcohol impairs the brain-body coordination and increases the chances of an accident.

The Legislative section is divided into three (3) lists: The Union List, State List and Concurrent List. Alcohol is a subject in List II- State List, under Entry 51 and the State Legislature is competent to legislate upon this matter.  As a result of the same, the law governing this subject differs from State to State. For instance States Gujarat, Bihar, Manipur, Nagaland are dry States including Union Territory of Lakshadweep where alcohol is totally prohibited. Moreover, the legal age for drinking is between 18 to 25 years depending on the State, where Delhi and Mumbai have 25 as the legal age. Adding to that, most of the National holidays are considered to be dry days nationally.

The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988[1] makes drunk-driving a criminal offence in India. It is punishable with imprisonment of maximum 6 months and/or with fine of maximum Rs. 2000 for the first offence. For a subsequent offence if committed within 3 years of the commission of the previous similar offence, with imprisonment of maximum 2 years or/and with fine of maximum Rs.3000.

According to the OECD figures[2], Alcohol consumption litres/capita (aged 15 and over) is 3.1 in India. Drunk driving has been responsible for at least 70% of all fatal road accidents in Delhi, which reports between 1,500 to 1,700 road fatalities and 6,000 to 75,500 grievous injuries in road accidents every year.[3]As many as 1,48,707 people were killed and 4,82,389 were injured in over 4,64,674 accidents on Indian roads in 2015.[4] Therefore, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has been passed by the Lok Sabha and it has enhances the punishment for drunk driving from Rs. 2000 to Rs.10,000.

“No one wants to see you Black & Blue or DEAD, so how about letting a SOBER Friend DRIVE INSTEAD”

[1] The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Section 185.

[2] OECD (2017), Alcohol consumption (indicator). doi: 10.1787/e6895909-en (Accessed on 26 July 2017)

[3] Vagisga Kochar, How to drink and drive and (not) get away with it, LIVE MINT, (26th July, 2017, 17:48 PM), http://www.livemint.com/Politics/8yw65SOlOS730HVZmNUceJ/How-to-drink-and-drive-and-not-get-away-with-it.html

[4] HT correspondent, Driving licence to drink-driving: New Motor Vehicle Bill changes road rules, Hindustan Times, (26th July, 2017, 17:52 PM),http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/driving-licence-to-drunk-driving-new-motor-vehicles-bill-changes-road-rules/story-HZ6We1wj0nmGCuTgDbHTmO.html