With the UT Police in overdrive against drunken driving, it has equipped itself with more alcohol sensors, adding 15 more to the 45 it already had. It has also started handing out blow pipes in sealed covers to remove the suspicion and discomfort among those being tested that they are being asked to blow into used pipes.
Until July, there were only 45 alco-sensors with Chandigarh traffic police and 15 more alco-sensors were procured, keeping in the view the stricter policing of drunken driving in the city. And those being tested will have the satisfaction of seeing the police open a sealed blow pipe.
A senior police officer said, “Earlier, the vendors used to give us pipes in bulks. These pipes were not covered. We faced much resistance from the public, with people complaining that they were being given used pipes to blow into the alco-sensor. Keeping this in mind, we have started procuring sealed pipes, each wrapped in a small polythene cover. Now each time, we use a fresh pipe after tearing open the polythene cover before a person who is to be tested.”
There are two kinds of alco-sensors available with Chandigarh traffic police, SSP Shashank Anand said. In the first alco-sensor, used for conducting a preliminary test of the driver, there is no need to blow the pipe. This alco-sensor is only used to assess the presence of alcohol in the body of driver. And when a driver is tested positive for drunken driving through the first alco-sensor, then he is tested again through another alco-sensor, in which it is mandatory to blow the pipe, SSP Anand added.
These days, sources said, more than 100 pipes are being used at each naka over a two-hour period. Those at the wheel should not drink more than 30ml. A drop more could get a person challaned for drunken driving. As per Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle (MV) Act 1988, a challaned person for drunken driving shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to Rs 2,000, or with both.
Further as per Section 20 (2) of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988, the driving licence of the challaned person shall be disqualified for a period of not less than six months. And under Section 22(2) of MV Act, 1988, if a person having been previously convicted of an offence punishable under Section 185 is again convicted of an offence punishable under that section, the court, making such subsequent conviction, shall, by order, cancel the driving licence held by such person.