KOCHI: Alcohol sale is back and so is the menace of drink driving. But police personnel are a confused lot when it comes to checking drink driving as COVID-19 spread has put a restriction on use of breath analysers and no police personnel wants to hold that machine in hand for conducting the test.
According to a senior police officer, it’s a fact that many people are hitting the streets in their vehicles under the influence of alcohol after the sale of alcohol began from bars and beverages outlets.
Police personnel have been directed to go slow on routine vehicle checks since the outbreak of the virus in the state and now with many lockdown restrictions being lifted, the number of vehicles on the roads has gone up drastically in the last few days.
Ernakulam Assistant Commissioner of Police K Lalji said though there is a confusion with regard to using breath analysers for detecting drink driving, strict direction has been issued to police personnel to nab those who are visibly drunk.
"We will be conducting vehicle checks and those who reek of alcohol or are visibly drunk will be picked up for blood tests. People who are found to be driving vehicles recklessly endangering his/her or other’s life will also be taken into custody," he said adding that police have already started picking up people who were found to driving under the influence of alcohol.
Central Police Station has registered cases against two people on charges of drink driving in the last two days. Police officers said special mobile squads have been deployed to keep an eye on reckless drivers.
"Police personnel have been directed to operate with caution while conducting drink driving checks. COVID-19 safety guidelines have been issued to the police personnel who conduct vehicle checks for drink driving. For those who are found visibly drunk and contest the charges, blood test for alcohol level will be done at government hospital. Police personnel have been directed to wear masks and gloves during the checks," said the officers.