The drunk drivers in Hyderabad are on a another level with their flouting of rules and now they’ve gone so far as to create Whatsapp groups in order to avoid getting apprehended by the police. With the number of check-points across the city to nab people driving under the influence of alcohol increasing, it has become difficult for many to escape cops after a usual party night. But WhatsApp seems to have come to their rescue.Several groups are being created on this popular messenger app to alert each other about various ‘check-points’ across the city, so that others can skip them and take an alternate route.
How does this system work ? Well a network of people from the city are participants in the group. They numerous members warn people in the groups of checkpoints they witness so when people are out they can take alternate routes instead of the ones under scrutiny. This ingenious method makes it easier for drunk fiends to avoid the law. Even though they are hazards to the safety of citizens on the road, now they have a way to avoid getting caught which is a huge problem for the police.
here is heavy police deployment in areas like Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, Gachibowli, Madhapur and Begumpet as they are dotted with pubs.Users in such groups also inquire about the presence of police personnel along the routes and whether or not checks are being conducted at a particular location. If any of the recipients in the group is in that particular area, they pass on the required information.In a few cases, members of the group check ‘Google Maps’ to see if there is a traffic halt, indicated by the colour red, in areas where checking is usually expected. They then send a message alerting other members of the group about the possible presence of police in that location.
The demand to be a part of such groups is on the rise, which is their number is also increasing. This surprising rise in members is an issue of concern for the society as it indicates the number of drivers that are willing to drive when they are drunk is increasing.
“I am a part of at least four such groups. That means I am connected to about 1,000 other people and can get information about drunk and drive checking spots,” said a member of such groups anonymously.
The groups comprise people of all ages and backgrounds — from young partying individuals to students, middle-aged people, socialites and small-time actors.
“We are aware of the presence of such groups and it is not practically possible to control them. But we are making sure there is no easy escape. Hence, instead of one or two check-points in a single area, there are multiple. A person can escape one point, but will definitely get caught in the next one. We plan to become stringent over time,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Anil Kumar said in an interview.
There has been an exponential rise in the number of drunken driving cases. A total of 15,133 drunk drivers were caught by the Hyderabad traffic police till June this year. Kumar said the number has been high in the second quarter. In April, traffic police personnel caught 2,215 drunk drivers and the number shot to 2,770 in June.According to the Motor Vehicle Act 1988, a person can be punished if over 30 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood is detected in the Breath Alcohol Content test. But in Hyderabad, it has been raised to 35 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood considering minor errors in breath-analysers.
There are services in the current market where designated drivers are available for rent who can drive guests to their locations. However, it is probably easier for these drunk individuals to try and escape police checking in order to go where they want to. This behaviour is dangerous and people need to understand that drunk driving can lead to severe accidents which will affect ones own life as well as the other victims of the accident who’s life is in forfeit because of drunk drivers.