New Delhi: Drunk drivers are a "lethal weapon", a Delhi court has said while refusing to set aside three days imprisonment awarded to a youth for driving his vehicle in an inebriated state.
The court said drunken driving has become a menace which may cause disabilities and fatalities having devastating effect on the victims and their kin and also causes colossal loss in terms of economy of the State.
District Judge Rekha Rani dismissed the appeal filed by Delhi resident Gaurav Singh, who was found riding a two wheeler under the influence of alcohol on May 15, and ordered that he be taken into custody to undergo the sentence.
22-year-old Singh, who was working in a restaurant, was sentenced to three days jail by a magisterial court and a fine of Rs 3,500 for drunken driving and inability to produce valid driving licence and insurance papers at the time of challan.
The court, in its order, observed that "human life is precious and road users have fundamental right to life and liberty guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution".
"Consumption of alcohol impairs vision, focus, reflexes and consciousness which make the automobiles 'death traps' and the drunk drivers 'lethal weapon'.
"According to National Crime Records Bureau, drunken driving is major factor for road accidents in India. Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand as declared by the Constitution. Those who flout responsibility forfeit their right to freedom," the court said.
The youth claimed that he was innocent and never consumed alcohol and has been falsely implicated by traffic police due to exchange of heated words.
The court, however, said Singh was not only badly drunk, exceeding the prescribed limit under the Motor Vehicle Act by over 13 times but he was also driving the vehicle without any driving licence, which was an aggravating factor.
It added that any leniency shown to drunk drivers would be at the risk of further proliferation of the road accidents.