Limited breathalysers deterring police action

Police officials have been frequently facing troubles while taking action against drunk drivers due to the insufficient stock of breathalysers. In a hearing on Thursday, the Bombay High Court (HC) slammed the state government and ordered it to provide adequate devices within three months.The Pune traffic police sent a letter to the government and demanded an additional of 80 breathalysers for the city.

Sarang Awad, DCP (traffic) said, “Considering the growing population, the traffic police needs more breathalysers for conducting drives. We have conveyed our requirement to the state government two days ago and a minimum of 150 analysers is required. Currently, all the police stations have approximately 70 machines. We have been taking regular action at various spots, but additional breathalysers will help in conducting more drives.“

The HC asked the state to finance all police stations within a month so that they can purchase the breathalysers. A division bench of justices Abhay Okla and C V Bhadang also directed the government to provide funds for the maintenance and recalibration of the existing breathalysers.

The division bench stated that at present there are 385 breathalysers in total across the state, out of which only 294 are in working condition. The state government is supposed to provide a sufficient number of these devices. The government pleader also told the court that the state needs at least 1,174 breathalysers.

“The government has also been asked to set guidelines that have to be followed by policemen while handling drink driving cases in order to ensure that the proper procedure is being followed while collecting and analysing blood samples. In an earlier Bombay HC hearing, the state had in formed the court that it has decided to provide 45 mobile forensic support units, which would be under the supervision of the director general of police. These units will rush to the spot and help in gathering evidence and transport it to the main laboratory,“ said advocate Vikas Shinde, a human rights lawyer.

While ordering the purchase of devices, the bench deferred the matter to March 3 when it would consider how the blood tests of drivers should be conducted and the procedure that must be adopted for the collection of samples. “Currently, we are operating with the standard procedure, which has been finalised by the Mumbai police. It does not have any technical flaw,“ said a senior official of the traffic police.
Source : Mirror

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