Hyderabad: The year 2017 may have witnessed a dip in the overall crime rate under the Hyderabad Police Commissionerate limits. However, tipplers in the city had other ideas, with cases relating to drunk driving registering an increase in 2017.
Compared to 2016, when the number of drunk driving cases registered was 17,452, the number went up in 2017, to be pegged at 20,811. However, Traffic authorities are attributing the increase to intensified enforcement drives.
AV Ranganath, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said the number of enforcement drives has been on a constant increase every year.
“The system of drunk driving checks saw several changes in the last seven years. Initially, the drive used to be conducted only on Fridays and Sundays. In some years, it was conducted on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays,” he said.
“In 2017, we had night, day and surprise checks,” he said, adding this was one reason why the number of cases had gone up.
According to the DCP, a total of 15,389 cases were booked in 2014 when the same was 16,633 in 2015. In 2016, 17,452 persons were caught for driving the vehicles in an inebriated condition.
The number of people sentenced to imprisonment in drunk driving cases too has seen changes in the last two years. Here, however, there was a slight dip in 2017, against 2016.
“In 2017, 4,015 persons were imprisoned, while the same was 7,323 in 2016. In 2015 and 2016, approximately 3,000 people were imprisoned,” Ranganath said.
Meanwhile, when women are caught on charges of drunk driving, the City Traffic police has a different approach. They are given different dates to attend the mandatory counselling after being caught and counselled during a special session where women traffic police personnel too join the counselling team.
“Unlike men, women experience a lot of trouble in visiting a police station and attending counselling, that too, with their family members. Considering this, a special counselling session is conducted for women,” said Traffic Training Inspector, Goshamahal, G Harish.
While 18 women each were caught for the offence in 2014 and 2015, nine were caught in 2016. But in 2017, the number was 21.