TT, Gangtok, April 27: The Sikkim administration has decided to crack down on drunken driving by strictly enforcing a rule that even seeks the cancellation of licence if one is found at the wheel in an inebriated state.
The move comes after 12 people were caught driving in a drunken state in Gangtok in the past three weeks.
Transport secretary S.B.S. Bhaduria today said under the Motor Vehicles Act, if a person drives a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, his/her licence can be suspended for three months. “If the person repeats the offence, the driving licence will be cancelled for lifetime. But this provision had never been enforced strictly before. We have now decided to implement the rule properly,” said Bhaduria.
Senior regional transport officer in Gangtok J.B. Thapa said, for the first time in the history of Sikkim, two driving licenses had been suspended for three months recently for drunken driving. “Before that, nobody’s licence had been suspended or cancelled for drunken driving,” he said.
The transport secretary informed that his department would create a database of all driving licence holders to help officials track the record of offenders. “The data base will have details of a licence holder and the number of times he is fined under the Motor Vehicles Act,” he added.
Bhaduria said breath analysers would be used to know if drivers were drunk and government medical experts’ advice would be sought to determine substance abuse.
“The Union ministry of road transport and highways has sanctioned funds to purchase 100 breath analysers. Seventy-five of them will be given to police, while the remaining 25 would be used by the transport department officials,” he said.
Sikkim has around 70,000 driving licence holders.