Drunk drivers’ efforts to evade traffic police

HYDERABAD: With traffic police clamping down vigorously on drunk driving, revellers visiting high-end pubs and bars are employing new tactics to evade police detection.

Apart from hiring drivers to ferry them home, they are now winding up their parties only late into the night.

“Visitors of pubs and bars in posh areas are leaving the bar premises only after we wind up our operations, to evade police check posts put up during drunk driving enforcement,” a police official said. For last few months we have observed that not many customers come out of high-end bars till the time our check posts are in place, he explained.

That’s also because many of the high-end pubs serve liquor beyond the schedule time, he points out. As per rules, bars should close down by midnight, but quite a few of them serve liquor with their shutters closed.

Rate of accidents

The aim of controlling drunk driving is to reduce the rate of accidents, but if bars and restaurants allow patrons to leave their premises after the enforcement timings, the very purpose of the drive will be defeated, the police official said.

According to present regulations, bars should stop serving liquor by 11 p.m. and close by midnight. But most watering holes frequented by influential people/VIPs remain open till late in the night, admitted Andhra Pradesh Wine Shop Dealers Association president D. Venkateswara Rao.

Since most bars and pubs in areas such as Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills are kept open till late into night, most youngsters are now hopping to these places after ‘smaller’ joints close at their scheduled time, he explained.

As a police official points out with a shrug: “Traffic police does not have the authority to close the bars, so our law and order brethren should ensure that these bars are closed in time to help us in better enforcement of drunk driving.”

This article was published in The Hindu on April 23, 2012

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