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An unlikely partnership to curb drunk driving


Pubs, restaurants could help the police keep tabs on drunk drivers

Since the beginning of 2016, the traffic police have registered 20,952 cases of motorists driving under the influence of alcohol. This menace seems to have the police at their wits’ end as the numbers keep rising despite regular drives to catch offenders.

For many, driving back after having consumed alcohol over the permissible limit is an issue to worry about only if they get caught. For some, the main concern is mastering the art of sticking to back lanes to outfox the police and beat the check posts. Then there are those who leave for their homes only post 3 a.m., long after the check posts are disbanded.

But what if pubs and restaurants were allowed to ensure that drunken patrons do not sit behind the wheel? The National Restaurant Association of India president Riyaaz Amlani, recently said that the association had been trying to approach the traffic police in various cities and ask for their help in discouraging inebriated guests from getting into their vehicles.

“We could keep breath-analysers at the venue and check customers who have consumed alcohol. This way, drunken driving could be avoided at the source itself. However, right now, we have no means of denying a customer access to their vehicle and this is what we want to work with the police for,” Mr. Amlani said on Friday, at a meeting with journalists.

While this move, if implemented, is bound to create many ugly scenes at restaurants, there is at least the satisfaction that inebriated people will not be allowed to drive or ride on the streets where they can cause far greater damage. “It would be great if restaurants could keep tabs like these on their clientele. Maybe they could just call them a cab instead of letting them drive their own vehicles back. Nowadays, with aggregators, cabs are never too far away, and once the customer sees the analyser readout and knows that he or she is over the limit, the fear of being caught also sets in,” said Arvind T., a marketing professional.

Source: The Hindu