Alcohol has been successful
in making a distinct niche in daily lives of humans since the centuries
of the recorded history. Alcohol has been found to play a major
role in social ills in almost all countries across the world, but
foremost amongst the ills produced by alcohol is its role in traffic
Alcohol and driving don't mix, but
still, many people love to drink and drive resulting in numerous
road mishaps. Drunken driving has been recognized as a world menace,
based on the stats which reveal that road accidents cause 1.2 million
deaths and 50 million injuries around the world each year. Some
480,000 of these deaths and 20 million of people get injured by
The role of Alcohol in traffic safety has produced more controversies than any other topic. After drinking, the judgment power of the driver gets impaired - a threat to road safety. Due to its effects, driver tends to take more risks, becomes more aggressive and takes a longer reaction time. It has been well established that the relative probability of causing crash increases with the rising blood alcohol levels keeping road safety at stake.
In India, drunken driving is customary in commercial vehicle drivers. Private car owners and youngsters are also major players in the game. Small bars along the Indian highways are of prime concern to control drunken driving. To make the matter worse the gamble of destiny is that Indian traffic officials are not well equipped with the necessary equipments required to introduce checks on driving in India. India has laws to check the drunken driving but its effective implementation is still to be worked upon.
The MV Act, 1939, has a clause which states that "Driving by a drunken person shall be punishable at the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with a fine which may extend to two thousand rupees or both; and for a second offence, if committed within three years of the previous similar offence, imprisonment for a term which may extend to three thousand rupees, or with both.
According to this law, drinking and driving was not allowed to be mixed up, but after its amendment in 1994, an amount up to 30 mg per 100 ml of blood has been permitted to driver. The above law is very much effective if imposed, but it slips off when the hands of the concerned officials are greased.
A drunken driver is a potential murderer as he cannot perform his tasks without risks and endangers road safety. Drunken driving an illegal act should be governed by stern laws which entail not only levying hefty fines or revocation of license, but also prosecution, same as a criminal offense. Usually, driver escape from the scene as the public gets involved in getting the injured hospitalized rather than snitch the drunken driver and teaching him a lesson.
But, contrary to the practice, if we make a commitment to report the incidence to the officials concerned and take a stand against drunk driving, then we may get successful in curbing the menace which has been since centuries a major contributor to the traffic deaths in every, but, the co-relation between alcohol and road safety still remains a matter of more research.