With the hope of booking more cases of driving under the influence of alcohol, in view of the extended deadline for nightlife, the City traffic police stretched the special drive from 10 p.m. on Saturday to 2 a.m. on Sunday. Though they were able to book around 1,000 cases of drunken driving, the lack of sufficient number of alcometers proved to be an impediment, senior officials conceded.
Of the 999 cases booked, the West division police booked 454 cases of drunken driving, while the east division registered 545 cases. Wasting no time in acting against revellers, the traffic police anticipated “bigger results” in the wake of extension of deadline for nightlife. However, a senior police officer, who supervised the drive, said that with the serious shortage of alcometers, the personnel had to resort to manual checking.
The official said that during weekends, the number of cases of drunken driving was usually around 1,000. “We were expected to nab more violators, given the extension. However, manual checking is embarrassing and time-consuming, besides leading to arguments and resentment among motorists,” the official added.
Alcometers help the police book drunken drivers by showing extent of alcohol consumption. Each city traffic police station was earlier provided at least four to five alcometers. However, many of these have now become outdated and defunct.
Due to this, the average number of alcometers per station has reduced to a dismal one. This has forced the traffic police to go back to manual checking, which is risky and not fool-proof. “One of the reasons for the fewer number of cases despite the deadline extension is that we could stop only those who seemed visibly drunk and issue notices,” a police official conceded.
Admitting that there was shortage of alcometers, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) B. Girish claimed the procurement process was on and the department would get the upgraded alcometers in a fortnight.