Drunk Driving Laws

Drunk Driving Laws and Punishment in India

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Drunk Driving Laws and Punishment in India

Urbanisation and growing affluence has lead to more instances of drunk driving in India. Drunk driving or driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offence in India under the Motor Vehicle Act. In this article, we look at the laws pertaining to drunk driving in India and the punishment for drunk driving.

Legal Drinking Age

In India, the legal age for drinking varies from 18 years to 25 years from state to state, while some states have completely banned alcohol. For instance, state like Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and others have a legal drinking age of 18 years. States like Delhi, Haryana and others have a legal drinking age of 25 years, while most states have a legal drinking age of 21 years. Consumption of alcohol is completely banned in the states of Gujarat, Bihar, Manipur and Nagaland, as well as the union territory of Lakshadweep.

Drunk Driving – Alcohol Limit in India

Any person who in his/her blood has alcohol exceeding 30 mg. per 100 ml. of blood, detected in a test by a breath analyser is said to be driving under the influence or drunk driving. The same also applies to  any person who is under the influence of a drug to such an extent as to be incapable of exercising proper control over the vehicle.

Drunk Driving Punishment

Currently, Section 185 in The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 makes driving under the influence a criminal offence in India. As per the Motor Vehicle Act, driving by a drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs is punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term of upto six months and/or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees. Second or subsequent offence, if committed within three years of similar offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term of upto two years and/or with fine of three thousand rupees.

Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

Driving by a drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs. Whoever, while driving, or attempting to drive, a motor vehicle:

  • (a) has, in his blood, alcohol exceeding 30 mg. per 100 ml. of blood detected in a test by a breath analyser, or
  • (b) is under this influence of a drug to such an extent as to be incapable of exercising proper control over the vehicle, shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both; and for a second or subsequent offence, if committed within three years of the commission of the previous similar offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to three thousand rupees, or with both. Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, the drug or drugs specified by the Central Government in this behalf, by notification in the Official Gazette, shall be deemed to render a person incapable of exercising proper control over a motor vehicle.

Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 recently. The Amendment bill aims to improve road safety and provides for higher level of fines and penalty for drunk driving. The penalty for drunk driving under the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 has been increased from Rs.2000 to Rs.10,000.

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Comments (1)

[email protected] singh

Jul 20, 2017 at 7:08 AM

For first time caught for drunk drive after payed fine y rto cancel drive licence for 3 month

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