The Mumbai traffic police’s New Year’s Eve was a happy one with drunk-driving cases dipping by 48 per cent from last year. On December 31, 570 motorists were booked for driving under the influence of alcohol — 270 cases less than last year when 840 drunken drivers were arrested. The Thane traffic police, on the other hand, recorded an almost 40% jump in drunk driving, registering 401 cases. On the same night last year, the figure was 301.
“We are happy that our campaign against drunk driving is a success. This year, many people did not drive to parties, but hired drivers instead so that they could reach home safely,” said Vivek Phansalkar, joint commissioner of police (traffic), referring to an anti-drunk driving campaign that was launched on June 20, 2007.
Of the 570 cases registered, 157 were in the eastern suburbs. Only 68 cases were recorded in south Mumbai. While 101 drunken drivers were caught in the western suburbs, 172 were caught in north Mumbai and 72 in central Mumbai. Around 1,700 traffic policemen, with the help of 150 police personnel, organised nakabandis at 85 spots across the city. Along with drunk driving, the city saw 3,292 errant drivers booked for violations such as dangerous driving, speeding, jumping signals and not wearing seat belts or helmets.
Last New Year’s Eve, 2,527 offenders were caught for violating traffic rules, out of which 840 motorists were booked for drunk driving, said Phansalkar.