Drunken driving back to basics: Suspects will be taken to nearest hospital for blood tests in Mumbai

Ahead of the New Year eve, a special drive, usually conducted by the traffic police to check drink-and-drive violators, will be undertaken as a part of the night curfew nakabandis.

In the backdrop of the raging coronavirus pandemic, the city traffic police had stopped the use of breathalysers; deprived of this valuable device, this time, the police will go back to the old school and take the suspects to nearby hospitals to draw blood samples.

"As it is, nakabandis and check points will be in place across the city, owing to the night curfew, which will extend from 11pm to 6am. At these roadblocks, the traffic personnel will try to determine from afar if the driver/rider is in an inebriated state.

If a policeman suspects the driver is under influence of alcohol, or even reeking of it, he/she will be taken to the hospital for a medical check-up, to ascertain if they can be accused of drunken driving," said Yashasvi Yadav, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic).

As a part of the night curfew, Mumbai Police have stepped up vigilance and already set up checkpoints across the city, which will be in place from December 22-31.

In at least 75 locations, these nakabandis will check for not just traffic violations but also those infringing the social distancing norms or found moving without a mask.

In the first three days of night curfew, traffic police fined at least 6,375 motorists, most of them at Mankhurd, where over 600 violators were caught, the police said. The most traffic violations recorded during night curfew were of those not wearing a helmet.

Mumbaikars can travel in cars, on motorcycles and move around during the night curfew hours, but not in an assembly of more than five people.

Clarifying the confusion over restrictions during the night curfew, Vishwas Nangre Patil, Joint Commisioner of Police (Law & Order) said, "The curfew is for your safety and so are the health restrictions. All night shift business activities will be allowed except in establishments used for entertainment or recreational activities.

All essential services are allowed. People can travel on 2 and 4 wheelers (not more than 4 persons in one 4-wheeler). You may even go for a walk or take a drive during the curfew hours but not in a group exceeding 5 or more persons. Remember your masks and keep distance."

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