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Drunk drivers are lethal weapon, says court

Drunk drivers are a “lethal weapon”, a Delhi court has said, while refusing to set aside three days’ imprisonment awarded to a man for driving his vehicle in an inebriated state.

The court said drunk driving has become a menace, which may cause disabilities and fatalities having devastating effect on victims and their families and also causes colossal loss in terms of economy of the State.

District Judge Rekha Rani dismissed the appeal filed by Delhi resident Gaurav Singh (22), who was found riding a two-wheeler in an inebriated state on May 15, and ordered that he be taken into custody to undergo the sentence.

Singh, who was working in a restaurant, was sentenced to three days’ jail by a magisterial court and a fine of Rs 3,500 was slapped against him for drunk driving and inability to produce a valid driving licence and insurance papers at the time of challan.

The court, in its order, observed that “human life is precious and road users have fundamental right to life and liberty guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution. Consumption of alcohol impairs vision, focus, reflexes and consciousness, which make the automobiles ‘death traps’ and the drunk drivers ‘lethal weapon.”

“According to the National Crime Records Bureau, drunk driving is major factor for road accidents in India. Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand as declared by the Constitution. Those who flout responsibility forfeit their right to freedom,” the court said.

The man claimed that he was innocent and was not drunk. The court, however, said Singh was not only badly drunk, exceeding the prescribed limit under the Motor Vehicle Act by over 13 times but he was also driving the vehicle without any driving licence, which was an aggravating factor.
It added that any leniency shown to drunk drivers would be at the risk of further proliferation of the road accidents.

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