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  • ଓଡ଼ିଆରେ ପଢନ୍ତୁ

At least 216 people have been arrested in various parts of Odisha for allegedly driving in an inebriated condition, an official said on Monday.

The arrests were made and the driving licences of 138 people were suspended during a joint drive by the transport department and the state police, he said.

Of 2,600 people who underwent breath analyser tests across the state on Saturday night, 251 were found driving after consuming alcohol. Overall 216 were arrested, the official said.

At least 59 arrests, the highest in the special drive against drink-driving, were made in Cuttack, followed by 17 in Subarnapur district.

Despite a set of strict laws and regulations, drink-driving continued to be one of the major reasons for road accidents in the state, the official said.

Odisha registered 648 road accidents in 2020 due to drink-driving, which claimed the lives of 298 people, he said.

According to the Motor Vehicles Act, a first-time offender in case of drink-driving will face imprisonment of up to six months and/or a fine of up to Rs10,000. The second offence, if repeated within two years, can lead to up to two years of prison term and/or a fine of Rs 15,000.

The authorities had stopped testing people for alcohol after the COVID outbreak to avoid infection, the official said.

Since the number of COVID cases has dropped significantly, now the authorities have started conducting the special drive against drink-driving, he added.

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