Bhubaneswar: The special drive against drunk driving by the Odisha Police under the provisions of the amended Motor Vehicle Act, 2019, since September has yielded the desired results with the last two months witnessing a drop in the number of road accident fatalities across the state.
Casualties due to road mishaps dropped from 368 in September 2018 to 315 in September this year. Similarly, the number fell to 350 in October from 444 during the corresponding month last year.
Additional Director General of Police (Crime Branch) Santosh Upadhyay on Thursday told mediapersons that 1.9 lakh vehicles were checked during these two months and 5,856 persons were arrested for drunken driving in Odisha. The highest number of arrests of 1,191 was reported from Ganjam.
The decision to act tough against those found driving in an inebriated state was taken following a direction by a Supreme Court-appointed committee to reduce accident fatalities in Odisha by at least 10 per cent.
The ADG assured that the drive against drunken driving will continue.
In addition, Rs 10,000 fine and possible arrest for drunken driving under the new MV Act had also pressed the panic button among alcohol consumers.
According to the new MV rules, the penalty for first offence of drunk driving will be up to six months of a jail term or with Rs 10,000 fine or both. For repeat offence, the imprisonment will be up to two years or a fine of Rs 15,000 or both. The permissible blood alcohol content (BAC) is fixed at 0.03 per cent per 100ml blood.