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What Are The Drink-Driving Laws In India? Why Was the Teenager In The Pune Porsche Car Crash That Killed Two Let Off?

Many are puzzled by the release of a 17-year-old kid on bail given by a Pune court after he was held for allegedly running over two people with his overspeeding Porsche automobile in the early hours of Sunday. The tragedy highlights how drunk driving is the primary cause of traffic accidents and fatalities in the nation.

Within hours after the collision, the Juvenile Justice Board granted the youngster, the son of a well-known builder, his release, with the stipulations that he write a reflective essay, seek assistance in quitting alcohol, and do volunteer work with the Pune traffic police.

Pune police commissioner Amitesh Kumar stated that his father, who had been imprisoned under the Juvenile Justice Act and was on the run, was brought back to the city for further investigation after being taken into custody in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar.

Kumar said that, in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Act, the Pune Police are requesting authorization to trial the minor defendant as an adult.

According to the minor, the father admitted to letting his son drive the Porsche and drink alcohol, which is why he was arrested under sections 75 and 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

For allegedly giving alcohol to the underage accused, the Pune Police also detained the manager of the restaurant Cosie, Sachin Katkar, and the owner of the restaurant Blak, Sandip Sangale. An elevated Pune City Police official said that the three people who were taken into custody will appear in court later in the day.

What is the case for a Porsche car?
The child accused threw a party for 12 of his buddies to celebrate his Class 12 results, according to the police. They had visited the posh Mundhwa Cosie and the Marriott Suites at Koregaon Park annexe’s Blak Club, where they drank alcohol from 9:30 p.m. on Saturday until 1:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Ashwini Koshta and Aneesh Awadhia, both 24, of Madhya Pradesh, were murdered after the teenager’s unregistered Porsche Taycan struck a motorbike from behind as it was parked next to a bar, according to the police.

Former coworkers of the two victims were employed at an MNC in Kalyaninagar. Koshta was due to come home to Jabalpur on June 18 for her birthday; she had resigned her job a few months before.

The Porsche was purchased by the minor’s father in March, but it was not registered since the road tax of Rs 44 lakh was not paid.

According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed at the Yerwada Police Station by Assistant Police Inspector Vishwanath Todkari, “The minor stated that his father gave him the Porsche even though he knew he didn’t have a driver’s license or any driving experience.” He has also said that his father knew he was using alcohol and that he had let him go out and party with his pals.

After charging the minor with reckless and careless driving, causing harm by endangering life or personal safety under IPC sections 304A, 279, 337, 338, and 427, as well as applicable sections of the Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Act, Deputy Commissioner of Pune City Police Vijay Kumar Magar made the arrest.

WHAT IS THE INDIA RELATIVELY LEGAL DRINKING AGE?
Depending on the state, the legal drinking age in India might range from 18 to 25 years old. A number of states have outright prohibited alcohol, including Gujarat, Bihar, Nagaland, and Manipur. While most jurisdictions permit alcohol use by persons who are 21 years of age or older, Haryana, Goa, and other states have a legal drinking age of 25 years.

The 2019 amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 included measures aimed at combating the problem of drunk driving. Section 185of the Act of the Act addresses driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in particular, outlining strict standards and penalties for violators.

DRINK-DRIVING LAWS: WHAT ARE THEY?
As to Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, an individual faces penalties if they are discovered operating or trying to operate a motor vehicle while under the legal limit of alcohol (30 mg per 100 ml of blood) or narcotics.

The motorist faces a maximum six-month jail sentence, a fine of up to Rs 10,000, or both for their first offense. Furthermore, their driver’s license can be suspended for a certain amount of time.

If the criminal commits another offense within three years of the first conviction, they might be sentenced to up to two years in jail and/or fined up to Rs fifteen thousand.

In the event that drunk driving results in harm to another person, the criminal faces up to two years in jail and/or a fine of Rs 5,000.

If an individual is killed as a result of drunk driving, the perpetrator may be sentenced to two to seven years in jail in addition to a fine.

Suppose the offender is a young person.
According to Section 199A of the Motor Vehicles Act, the owner of the motor vehicle or the child’s guardian shall be deemed responsible for the offense and subject to penalty if the minor commits an offense.

The guardian faces a maximum three-year jail sentence and a fine of Rs 25,000 as punishment. The car that was utilized in the offense will have its registration revoked for a year.

The minor must wait until they are 25 years old to be eligible for a learner’s permit under section 8 or a driver’s license under section 9.

The juvenile shall be subject to the penalties specified in the Act, and any sentence, including incarceration, may be altered in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 (56 of 2000).

This modification was made in response to a legislative panel’s recommendation for harsher punishments for moving violations. In actuality, the group had suggested that drunk driving accidents be handled more like premeditated crimes than like instances of “negligence.”

ROAD ACCIDENT DATA
According to the Center’s publication of road accident statistics for 2022, drunken diving was a significant contributing factor to the nation’s road deaths, resulting in 3,268 accidents—nearly a tenth of all accidents—that year.

Furthermore, 1,503 fatalities—or 11% of all road accident deaths in India in 2022—were linked to drunk driving.

In 2022, there were 461,000 traffic incidents in India, according to Statista. Every year, traffic accidents cost the nation between 3 and 5% of its GDP. Indian youth were involved in over 70% of accidents. Despite having just 1% of all vehicles worldwide, the nation was responsible for 6% of all traffic incidents worldwide.

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