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Court refuses to set aside sentence in drunken driving case


New Delhi:  A Delhi court has refused to set aside the sentence of a 45-year-old man who was convicted for drunken driving, saying safety of people on roads is of paramount importance.

The court, however, modified his jail term from 10 days to four days, considering that he was the sole earning member in his family and was remorseful for his conduct.

“A driver cannot afford to pause from thinking while driving… .Driving or manoeuvring a vehicle on road requires good observation, clear thinking, quick decisions and timely neuromotor response.

“A driver is required to be both mentally and physically fit. With such high alcohol content in the blood, as in the case of the appellant, mental faculties of a person are likely to get impaired,” Special Judge Rakesh Syal said, adding, “It needs no emphasis to say that safety of the people on roads is of paramount importance.

The court, which partly allowed the appeal of the convict against a magisterial court order that had awarded him 10 days in jail, observed that accidents and road rage, due to drunken driving, are increasing day by day and a deterrence was needed while awarding punishment to the guilty.

It noted that the convict was driving a commercial vehicle at night in a drunken state near Dwarka here and the alcohol content in his breath analyser test was found to be about 30 times higher than the permissible limit.

The permissible limit of alcohol is 30 mg in 100 ml blood.

“The appellant is 45-year-old mature person responsible for all his actions,” it said.

In his appeal, the convict contended that he was young and the company of “hardcore criminals in jail” may spoil his entire life.

He said he had an ailing wife and two kids who are fully dependent on him for a living.

Besides the jail term, the magisterial court had on July 7 imposed a fine of Rs 7,000 on the convict which he had already paid.

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