SRIKAKULAM: DESPITE hoardings and posters warning people against drunk driving, more youth drive drunk, scaring their parents and their families. The recent district statistics revealed the role of youth in drunk drive.
As many as 36 persons died and 208 were injured in 110 accidents. Not surprisingly, 20 per cent of the accidents were caused by drunk driving. It is a challenge to the police to control it. The police took the initiative of counselling the people caught driving in inebriated condition at frequent intervals.
On May 23, drunk drivers attended a counselling session at the district police office. About 225 cases were registered from May 16 to May 22 in the district and of the accused, 107 persons are below 30 years.
From May 23 to May 29, 247 cases were registered for drunk driving and 75 per cent of the accused were youth. As many as 7,555 drunk drive cases were registered last year and 2,460 cases were reported till date this year. Srikakulam traffic police station DSP P.Srinivasa Rao said that since the raids were launched to check drunk drive, there was a fall in the cases as the punishment seemed to be a deterrent.
The police are aiming at mindset change instead of registering cases and later counselling the accused. The DSP said that the professional psychologists attended the counselling sessions, resulting in the accused to realise their folly.
The DSP also said that there would be a deterrent punishment to the drunk driving. The accused might be jailed for six months or fine of `2,000 imposed on first time offenders and `3,000 fine and imprisonment for three years for the second time in addition to suspension of driving licence for three months.
RIMS assistant psychiatry prof Parasuram said the youth tend to experiment in the initial phase of alcohol consumption and later get addicted. There are misconceptions like that it is a status symbol and keeps the body and mind healthy. The youth generally tend to attend more parties than others. They want to do adventure in inebriated condition. Frequent counselling can change their behaviour, he added.