In a bid to tackle the menace of drunken driving in the city,the Chandigarh Traffic Police will soon take the help of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) volunteers who will be posted at various nakas in the city.
Whenever a traffic offender tests positive for alcohol,the AA volunteers will invite him and his family to be a member of the organisation and get rid of the drinking problem. Also,these volunteers will distribute pamphlets at these checkpoints and put up banners at the Challaning Branch in Sector 29. The move was conceptualised on the sidelines of the 25th anniversary of the city unit of Alcoholics Anonymous,where SP (Traffic) Maneesh Chaudhary was the chief guest.
Many of the heinous crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol,and we have seen culprits genuinely repenting their mistakes once they get sober. This organisation has played an important role in solving the problem of drinking in society, said Chaudhary.
According to another police official,around eight-nine drink-driving nakas are put up in a day four times every week,where a number of addicts are detected. Every drunkard wants to rid himself of the disease,but they fail after repeated attempts. However,the success rate of AA is significant,mainly because all members have themselves lived through the experience. By taking their help at the nakas,were sure the number of addicts and,subsequently,drink-driving incidents in the city will come down, said a police official.
Asserting that such an initiative would be fruitful,the AA members said they would explain their principles of anonymity and multi-faceted approach towards reform right at the beginning to potential members.
The AA members shared interesting accounts of their reformation. Rajiv (name changed),47,an NRI from Kenya,recounted how he started drinking as a 17-year-old during the first night at his hostel in DAV College,the day he landed in the country. My problem was so severe that I could not even resist drinking on the night before my marriage and at honeymoon. I joined AA in 1995,and I have been sober for the last 18 years, he said.
The other members,too,shared their experience of how they started at a young age due to peer pressure and other factors,and gradually lost their family members,jobs,colleagues and friends due to the problem,before joining AA and recovering completely.
AA currently has more than a thousand members in the Tricity,including a few women,and a meeting is held daily.
Last year,more than 4,600 challans were issued for drink-driving while the figure this year so far is 4,296.