The Goa government is mulling framing a rule to fix responsibility on liquor outlets to ensure drunk customers don’t drive back home in the night. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said this today while announcing a slew of measures to curb drink-driving related accidents in the tourist state.
He said the police department would initiate stringent action against those driving in an inebriated state. It has procured 100 alcometers (breath analysers) at a cost of Rs 36 lakh to curb drink-driving.
The chief minister was addressing a gathering at Canacona taluka during his day-long tour to the assembly constituency located on the Goa-Karnataka border.
“We are introducing a measure in the upcoming budget session to fix responsibility on a bar owner to ensure that any person who is drunk and leaves the bar after 11 pm doesn’t drive or ride back home on his own,” Parrikar said.
The chief minister expressed concern over deaths caused in road accidents and maintained many of them are due to rash and negligent driving or drink-driving.
“The government will take action against wrong lane driving and drink-driving, specially in the night. Police have procured 100 alcometers (used to measure alcohol content in body) at a cost of Rs 36 lakh,” he said.
“So, if a group goes for a party, let one be sober without drinks. Such a step is required to reduce accidental deaths on the road,” he said.
Parrikar said when he introduced Dayanand Social Security Scheme during his earlier tenure as chief minister, he didn’t expect 35,000 widows to be covered under it.
“These are the women whose husbands have died young. I am sure half of those must be liquor-related deaths, either due to drink-driving or damage caused to the liver due to excessive drinking.”
Reeling out statistics, Parrikar said, “Last year 320 people died on Goa roads, while the figure was 336 in the previous year.”
“For the first time in 20 years, the New Year went off without anyone dying on the road. This did not happen automatically, we had planned measures to avoid deaths during the wee hours.”
Parrikar, however, appealed to Goans to be tolerant towards unruly tourists. “Even if some tourists commit mistake, don’t assault them as it does not fit in the character of Goans. Make them understand their mistake and let them go.”