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Which law penalized if you caught driving under the influence of alcohol drugs and other substances?

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vector illustration of drinker holding beer bottle and lying on car

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 analyzer, 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 of a criminal offense 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 offense with imprisonment for a term of up to six months and/or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees. Second or subsequent offense, if committed within three years of a similar offense, is punishable with imprisonment for a term of up to two years and/or with a 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 analyzer, 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 offense 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 offense, if committed within three years of the commission of the previous similar offense, 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 Narendra Modi has given its approval for Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 recently. The Amendment bill aims to improve road safety and provides for a higher level of fines and penalties 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.

Section 5. Punishable Act – It shall be unlawful for any person to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or other similar substances.

Section 12. Penalties – A driver found to have been driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or other similar substances, as provided for under Section 5 of this Act, shall be penalized as follows:

(a) If the violation of Section 5 did not result in physical injuries or homicide, the penalty of three (3) months imprisonment, and a fine ranging from Twenty thousand pesos (Php20,000.00) to Eighty thousand pesos (Php80,000.00) shall be imposed;

(b) If the violation of Section 5 resulted in physical injuries, the penalty provided in Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code or the penalty provided in the next preceding subparagraph, whichever is higher, and a fine ranging from One hundred thousand pesos (Php100,000.00) to Two hundred thousand pesos (Php200,000.00) shall be imposed;

(c) If the violation of Section 5 resulted in homicide, the penalty provided in Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code and a fine ranging from Three hundred thousand pesos (Php300,000.00) to Five hundred thousand pesos (Php500,000.00) shall be imposed; and

(d) The nonprofessional driver’s license of any person found to have violated Section 5 of this Act shall also be confiscated and suspended for a period of twelve (12) months for the first conviction and perpetually revoked for the second conviction. The professional driver’s license of any person found to have violated Section 5 of this Act shall also be confiscated and perpetually revoked for the first conviction. The perpetual revocation of a driver’s license shall disqualify the person from being granted any kind of driver’s license thereafter.

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