Taking a tough stance, Hyderabad police commissioner M Mahender Reddy told TOI, “I have given instructions to the special branch to verify the conviction data of drunken driving offenders and traffic case offenders during background verification work and report the same to employers.”In accordance with the Supreme Court’s directions, city courts have been awarding punishments ranging from “till the rising of court” to over three months in drunken driving cases. Similar punishments were being meted out to offenders who committed multiple dangerous traffic violations such as signal jumping, rash driving and wrong side driving as well as to those who did not cleared echallans even after receiving warrants. Since 2011, city courts have awarded jail terms to 7,712 persons for driving in an inebriated condition. Of them 1,570 persons were awarded imprisonment this year (till May first week) in Hyderabad, while in Cyberabad 487 persons have been sent to jail so far.
As per traffic police data, among the 62,000 offenders, who were caught in Hyderabad since 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol, 30,078 (48.51 per cent) were in the 18-30 age group.”The data indicates that there is a good chance of young people, who get caught for drunken driving, losing good employment opportunities,” said Hyderabad additional CP (traffic) Jitender.While drunken driving convicts might not get government jobs, they also stand to lose out on going to countries like the US for employment. Elaborating on this, special branch inspector general, Y Nagi Reddy, told TOI that, even though as per passport rules those who receive jail term of less than two years are eligible to get a passport, if a drunk driving convict fails to mention his jail term in the passport application, he would be charged for ‘perjury’.
“From the crime database we can see details of an applicant’s criminal history, including his or her DD case convictions. If a passport applicant, who is convicted in a DD case, fails to declare it in the application, he or she will be booked for perjury and may not get a passport,” the SB chief told TOI.
Moreover, convicts might also not get visas for employment in countries like the US, where driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a serious offence. “The consulates and embassies of certain countries have access to visa applicants’ crime details,” a top police official said.
The SB team of Cyberabad is also verifying the drunken driving conviction details during employee antecedent check.
Though only 62 women have been caught in DD cases since 2011, this could be due to lack of sufficient women cops in the enforcement wing. To address the issue, police will now include two women police personnel with DD teams conducting checks, especially at Punjagutta, Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills areas.
The enforcement teams are reportedly aware of days on which each pub holds its ‘ladies’ night’ and accordingly places personnel to nab offenders.