Even as most of the pubs and bars have installed alcohol breathalysers, hoteliers claim that the device is “more of a showpiece” as till now, not even a single visitor has used it. Arvinder Pal Singh, president of Chandigarh Hotel and Restaurants Association, said, “We all have installed one breathalyzer as per the directions of the administration but nobody is using it. It is lying as a showpiece.”
Another hotelier on condition of anonymity said, “Everybody who has come to drink, obviously knows that he has taken more than the prescribed limit of 30 ml or not. This is a mere formality.” Last month, the UT excise and taxation department had asked all bars and pubs in the city to install alcohol breathalysers so that visitors consuming alcohol may know whether they are “legally fit” to drive back home.
An order issued by the excise and taxation commissioner to all the bar owners stated, “In order to make people aware about the ill-effects of consumption of alcohol more than the legally prescribed limit and to restrict them to intake the alcohol within legal limits, you are directed to install alcohol breath analysers on your licensed premises within seven days from the issuance of this letter to ensure that consumption of alcohol products by customers should be within legal limits.”
Later, after the hoteliers said that they could not do policing, UT had also issued a clarification stating that the check was voluntary. The installation of breathalysers was the brainchild of UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore. At a meeting with officials, he had asked the police to examine the feasibility of getting these devices installed outside the pubs and bars by the owners of such premises voluntarily so that a visitor coming to such places may get an opportunity to check the alcohol content in their blood for the sake of their own safety before occupying the driver’s seat.