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City 'unlocked': How police are dealing with public drinkers amid pandemic

City unlocked: How police are dealing with public drinkers amid pandemic
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new delhi: After lockdown, places are now opening up in the city and for the Delhi Police, they have to now tackle those drinking in public places while ensuring that all precautions for COVID-19 are followed.

One Deputy Commissioner of Police rank official said that they have stopped using alcometer in the district and in cases where there is a surety that the person was involved in drinking at public places then he is being taken for medical checks. "Before COVID-19 there was a regular check on people through alcometers, but after the COVID-19 scenario precautions being taken. Only those people are taken to hospital on which we have surety that he is drunk and after his medical report confirms he was drunk then he is booked under the Excise act," the official said adding that in view of the pandemic fewer challans are being issued.

Sources said that in a meeting between the top brass of the police force, a discussion related to challans for those drinking at public places was also touched upon. The use of alcometers was once again discussed. Officials were of the view that it might be a risk to use alcometers. Sources further added that the use of alcometers was not mandatory and if a person is voluntarily ready, then alcometers can be used. A fresh straw will be placed in the alcometer before testing every individual.

One Joint CP-rank official said that places are opening up after the lockdown so they are regularly briefing their staff that COVID-19 is still there and there should be no negligence in taking precautions. "When COVID-19 gripped the city, several guidelines were issued for precautions from contagious diseases so we are again reiterating the old guidelines to our staff so that people do not get careless and in case an alcometer is being used to check for open drinking, it should be properly sanitised and it should not be used indiscriminately," the official said.

Another official said that instead of booking those who drink in public under the Excise Act, they have now started booking such people under the Delhi Police Act. "While booking under Excise Act we used to gather them and then take them to hospitals for MLC and in the present scenario, it is a risk so we started booking them under DP Act," the official said.

In March, the traffic police had decided to stop checks for drunk driving using alcometers unless a driver was found to be visibly drunk or endangering the lives of others on

the road.

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