NEW DELHI: A drunken driver is like a suicide bomber, who has set out to kill himself as well as other road users, a Delhi court has observed while proposing that a stringent punishment should be awarded to offenders.
"It won't be inappropriate to say that a drunken driver is like a suicide bomber, who has set out to kill himself as well as other road users and thus deserves a very stern sentence which should have a deterrent effect and discourage everyone from driving after alcohol intake.
"A stern sentence to these offenders would go a long way in making the roads safer, thereby saving precious human lives," Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhatt observed on the appeal of a convicted truck driver seeking setting aside of his 20-day jail term.
The court, which said the sentence, awarded to Rajasthan native Kana Ram by a metropolitan magistrate, was "in no way unwarranted or harsh", however, reduced it to five days while considering the submissions of the convict that he was a first-time offender with clean antecedents.
"I am of the opinion that the sentence of imprisonment imposed upon appellant is, in no way, harsh or unwarranted.
However, having regard to the submissions made by appellant, the period of sentence of imprisonment is reduced from 20 days to five days," the judge said.
The court also said that it was not possible for a person to drive properly or make rational decisions after intake of huge amount of alcohol.
"A drunken driver cannot take rational and spontaneous decisions while driving. Excessive consumption of alcohol blurs one's vision and intensely impairs the ability to judge things on the road. A drunken driver risks not only his own life but also that of other motorists as well as the pedestrians," it said.
It also said that the fact that the driver was driving a commercial vehicle in heavily drunken condition, "makes the offence committed by him more severe," adding, "There would have certainly been a horrible tragedy, if he was not stopped by the traffic police officials."
Kana Ram was found driving "dangerously" in a drunken condition on July 12, this year, and overtaking other commercial vehicles, the police had said.
In his appeal, the convict had challenged only his sentence of 20 days contending that he was a first-time offender and jail term would leave an "indelible scar" upon his life and his career would be severely jeopardised.