Siva Balaji , Telugu film actor ( Arya fame) was caught by police when he was drunk and driving his car. In a drunk and drive check at Film Nagar, Vidya Bahavan Chourastra, when stopped Siva Balaji was found drunk and driving his car. The Hyderabad Traffic Police earlier announced that its enforcement drive against drunken driving will add on an element of surprise, in terms of locations and timings. This surprise check in Film Nagar is one amongst the enforcement against drunken driving.
The last few months has seen a major change in the scene of Hyderabad when it comes to drunken driving. The Hyderabad police have put down an iron foot on this and are emerging very successful. A Case could be booked under section 185 of Motor Vehicle Act by police. Under the Act, the magistrate has the authority to suspend the drivers license, besides imposing a fine.
This has led to a decline in business between 20 and 40 per cent in the past one month, according to pub owners.
“Since the traffic police have been strictly enforcing the drive against drunken driving, customers are quite apprehensive to attend various events at pubs and lounges. Even when we arrange events for couples and stags without any entry fee, customers are not much interested,” explained the managing director of a pub in Banjara Hills.
He added that with alcohol being available easily at bars, more people are preferring to drink at home. Many pub owners say the new laws where less than a pint of alcohol consumed can cause an arrest has been the final straw. Traffic police are booking drivers when measurement of alcohol is at least 0.3 mg of 100 ml on the breathalyser screen.
However, instead of pulling back on the pegs, pub goers and party animals are falling back on the option of cabs to get back home safe and sound.
“We don’t want to be caught by the cops and get involved in court cases and all that. That’s why we are opting for call taxis or autos after partying,” said a regular on the party scene. Since cabs drop them home, youngsters can enjoy the party without the added tension of keeping a tab on their drinking as they will not be driving. “Some of my friends have decided to head back home before the traffic cops start their vigil. We, however, are opting for cabs rather than driving ourselves,” said another party hopper. The cabs are usually hired on an hourly basis and they charge between Rs 800 and Rs 1,000.
As another alternate, with traffic cops trying their best to curb drunken driving menace in the city, high spirited youngsters have found a way to escape the police dragnet by moving onto "stuff" that the police can't detect. Ganja has of late become the favourite of those who want to get high and still escape the alcohol test conducted by the cops. The alcohol checking meters used by traffic police cannot detect the intake levels of the banned substance.