The rise in urbanisation has led to an increase in drink and driving cases in India. As a matter of fact, if you are caught drinking and driving or driving under the influence (DUI), you will be held guilty under the Motor Vehicle Act.
In this article, we will be explicitly discussing Section 185 of Motor Vehicle Act.
Under Section 185 of MV Act - Individuals who is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is considered guilty as per the act if -
They have alcohol exceeding 30 mg. per 100 ml. in their blood and is detected in a test by a breath analyser (or)
They are under the influence of any intoxicants to such an extent that it makes them incapable of exercising proper control over the vehicle.
The punishments imposed under Motor Vehicle Act 185 are explained below
If you are found guilty under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act, then you will have to face imprisonment of up to six months, pay a fine of up to INR 2000, or both for the first offence. For subsequent offences, the punishment is imprisonment of up to two years, fine of up to INR 3000, or both.
Moreover, for this section specifically, the drugs mentioned by the Central Government will be deemed to render an individual incapable of exercising proper control over the motor vehicle.
Apart from this, you can be held liable for an offence under Section 184 of the Motor Vehicle Act - driving dangerously. The punishment under the same is imprisonment up to six months, a penalty of INR 1000, or both for the first offence. For subsequent offences, the imprisonment term is of up to two years, a penalty of INR 2000, or both.
Also, in case you are speeding or racing your vehicle, the punishment is imprisonment for a specific term or have to pay a penalty of INR 5000 for the first offence and INR 10,000 for the subsequent ones.
Now, let us understand the legal drinking age in India across different states to avoid committing any drink and drive offence.
The legal drinking age in India varies between 18 years and 25 years for different states, while some states have a complete ban on alcohol. States such as Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, and others have a legal driving age of 18 years.
In places like Delhi, Haryana, and others have a legal drinking age of 25 years, while some states have a legal drinking age of 21 years. Alcohol consumption is completely banned in the states of Gujarat, Bihar, Manipur, Nagaland, and the union territory of Lakshadweep.
The country has been taking some serious steps to create awareness around the movement ‘Do not drink and drive’. It is basically to educate the up and coming generation that drunken driving is a serious criminal offence that will not only attract imprisonment and hefty fines but can also put other people’s lives in danger.
The new Motor Vehicle Act was thus established to make Indian roads safer and ensure that people are following the road safety rules.