Only 35 people booked for drink driving on New Year’s Eve in Mumbai

The city’s traffic police booked 35 motorists and two-wheeler riders for allegedly driving in an inebriated state yesterday. This is a significant drop from the 778 people who were arrested for driving while intoxicated last year during New Year’s Eve.

According to additional commissioner of police (traffic) Pravin Padwal, nakabandis were in place at different locations till 2am on Friday morning and at these checkpoints, police booked 20 people on the suspicion of consuming alcohol and driving. These people taken to nearby hospitals for blood tests to confirm their condition. As of 6am on Friday, 35 revellers had been arrested.

This year, traffic police had made adequate preparations for New Year’s Eve, including conducting special drives for drink driving cases.

Breathalysers were not used this year for fear of contracting and transmitting Covid-19. Instead, police personnel on duty relied on their observations and took those suspected of drink driving to hospitals to get tested for alcohol levels in their blood.

Joint commissioner of police (traffic) Yashasvi Yadav said the number of drink drivers were low compared to last year owing mainly to the restrictions imposed by the state to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“This New Year’s Eve people had stayed inside as establishments were closed early due to section 144 being put in place by the government. This is the main reason that only 35 people were caught for drink driving,” said Yadav.

According to the traffic police, 2,700 police personnel and other volunteers were stationed at different locations across the city and particularly at places where there are pubs and lounges and where large crowds were expected.

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