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Drunken driving (or riding) in Goa will get you seven days jail time soon. Goa police might ask the state government to make drinking and driving chargeable with seven days of imprisonment, without bail.
The new move from Goa police is to reduce the increasing late-night drunken driving menace; something really common in the smallest state of the country. People go to Goa mostly to party and enjoy with their friends. This involves a lot of alcohol too. While some restraint from intoxicated driving, there are many who do the exact opposite and act irresponsibly.
The Director-General of Police, Muktesh Chander told Times Of India – "Courts have mostly been lenient on this issue. Imposing a fine is hardly a deterrent, and jail sentences have been sporadic. As a result, we're unable to curb the drunken driving menace."
"Drunken driving cases are not compoundable, so they're always sent to court. It is up to the court to issue directions for suspension of license. In many cases, the offender doesn't even spend a single night in the jail. I want to study the provisions of law in other countries and the sentencing patterns of other states and cities. If people can be sent to jail in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Secunderabad for this kind of violation, why not in Goa?", he further added.
Drunken driving is already a punishable offence under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. As per the rule, driving a vehicle with more than 30mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood (detected by a breath analyser) is an offence. However, the punishment is limited to just a fine of a few hundred rupees.
The value of rupees has dropped a lot over the years and hence, violators have no problem in paying a few hundreds as fine. An amendment in the Act is required if they are to pay heftier fines. But the most effective punishment is jail time only, as per Muktesh Chander.
Meanwhile, DySP of Traffic, North Goa, Dharmesh Angle said, "With the influx of tourists in the state, lifestyle changes among Goans and an increasing number of vehicles in the state, the amount of people consuming alcohol and driving is on the rise. Fines are now imposed as per the discretion of the court, but we want to take more stringent action so that there is some kind of deterrence."
Thoughts On The New Punishment For Drunken Driving In Goa
No matter how much one is in control, drunken driving is not at all permissible. There have been many occasions in Goa where drunken driving have caused serious problems for the locals and also to other visitors. Though there is nothing wrong with enjoying the party, it is best to contain the enjoyment to the venue itself and not on public roads.