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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha transport department has directed the Commissionerate Police to arrest drunken drivers as per the provisions of MV Act instead of compounding such offences.

The direction came in response to a news article published in a newspaper that a woman who was caught driving on the wrong side and under the influence of alcohol at AG Square in the city was allowed to let go after a fine of Rs 500.

In a letter, Transport Department Principal Secretary Madhu Sudan Padhi asked police commissioner of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to investigate under which circumstances the driver was allowed to compound the offence.

Besides, the Police Commissioner has been asked to issue instructions to all the police stations not to compound the drunken driving cases and arrest the offenders.

In the letter, Padhi referred the direction of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety which states that, “In case of driving a vehicle under the influence of drinks and drugs, the police should prosecute the offender and seek imprisonment as prescribed under Section 185 of MV Act, 1988 even for the first offence.”

“Also, in case of drunken driving, the Supreme Court Committee has directed for suspension of licence for a period of not less than three months under Section 19 of MV act, 1988,” Padhi added in the letter.

“As per Section 185 of the MV Act, whoever, while driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of drinks and drugs shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine of Rs 10,000 or with both; and for a second or subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to fifteen thousand rupees or with both,” he said.

Padhi further stated power for compounding under section 185 of the MV Act has not been delegated to the Police Officers.

He said 1,068 road accidents occurred in the State due to drunken driving in 2019.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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