Why Teen In Pune Porsche Car Crash That Killed 2 Was Let Off, What Are Drink-Driving Laws In India? – News18

A 17-year-old boy released on bail granted by a Pune court within 15 hours of being detained for allegedly running over two people by his over-speeding Porsche car in the early hours of Sunday has left many baffled. The incident brings to light how the maximum number of road accidents and deaths in the country occur due to drink-driving.

The minor, a son of a prominent builder, was released by the Juvenile Justice Board within hours of the accident, on conditions that he should write an essay reflecting on the accident, seek help to give up drinking and do voluntary work with the Pune traffic police.

His father, who was on a run after being booked under Juvenile Justice Act, was detained from Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and was brought back to the city for further probe, Pune police commissioner Amitesh Kumar said.

Kumar further said the Pune Police is seeking permission to try the juvenile accused as an adult under the Juvenile Justice Act.

The father has been booked under the provision of sections 75 and 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act on the charges of allowing his son to drive the Porsche and consume liquor, as confessed by the minor.

The Pune Police also arrested the owner of restaurant Cosie, Pralhad Bhutada, and its manager, Sachin Katkar, as well as the manager of restaurant Blak, Sandip Sangale, for allegedly serving alcohol to the minor accused. The three persons arrested will be produced in court later in the day, said a senior Pune City Police officer.

What is the Porsche Car Case?

According to the police, the minor accused had thrown a party for 12 of his friends to celebrate his Class 12 results. They had gone to Cosie in upscale Mundhwa and Blak Club at Marriott Suites at Koregaon Park annexe, where they consumed alcohol between 9.30 pm on Saturday and 1 am on Sunday.

The police said the teenager was driving his unregistered silver-grey Porsche Taycan at 160 kmph when it hit a motorcycle from behind near a pub, that killed 24-year-olds Ashwini Koshta and Aneesh Awadhia from Madhya Pradesh.

The two victims were former colleagues working for an MNC in Kalyaninagar. Koshta had quit her job a few months ago and was scheduled to return to her home in Jabalpur on June 18 for her birthday.

The minor’s father had bought the Porsche in March but the car had not yet been registered as he had not paid the Rs 44 lakh road tax.

As per the FIR registered by Assistant Police Inspector Vishwanath Todkari at Yerwada Police Station, “Upon inquiry, the minor said his father handed over the Porsche to him despite knowing that he had no driver’s training and did not have a driver’s licence. He has also said his father allowed him to party with his friends and that his father was aware that he was consuming alcohol”.

Deputy Commissioner of Pune City Police Vijay Kumar Magar arrested the juvenile, after booking him for rash and negligent driving, as well as causing harm by endangering life or personal safety under IPC sections 304A, 279, 337, 338, and 427, in addition to relevant sections of the Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Act.

What is the Legal Drinking Age in India?

In India, the legal drinking age varies from the age of 18 to 25 years, to different state laws. Some states like Gujarat, Bihar, Nagaland, and Manipur have banned alcohol entirely. Haryana, Goa, and others have a legal drinking age of 25 years while other states allow those who are 21 years or above to consume alcohol.

The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, amended in 2019, includes provisions to address the menace of drunk driving. Section 185 of the Act specifically deals with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, setting clear guidelines and punishments for offenders.

What are Drink-Driving Laws?

According to Section 185 of the Motors Vehicles Act, if a person is found driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle beyond the permissible limit of alcohol at 30 mg per 100 ml in blood, or drugs, they are liable to punishment.

Upon the first offence, the driver is liable to face imprisonment for a term up to six months or a fine extending to Rs 10,000, or both. Additionally, their driving license may be suspended for a specified period.

In case of subsequent offences within three years of the first conviction, the offender may face imprisonment for a term up to two years and/or a fine extending to Rs 15,000.

If drink driving causes injury to another person, the offender may be punished with imprisonment for a term extending to two years and/or a fine of Rs 5,000.

In case, the drink driving leads to the death of another person, the offender may face imprisonment for two to seven years, along with a fine.

What if the Offender is a Juvenile?

As per Section 199A of the Motors Vehicles Act, where a juvenile has committed an offence, the guardian of the minor or the owner of the motor vehicle will be held guilty of the contravention and will be liable for punishment.

The guardian will be punished with imprisonment for up to three years and with a fine of Rs 25,000. The registration of the motor vehicle used for offence will be cancelled for 12 months.

The juvenile will not be granted a driving licence under section 9 or a learner’s licence under section 8 until he or she has attained the age of 25 years.

The juvenile will be punishable with fines as provided in the Act while any custodial sentence may be modified as per the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 (56 of 2000).

This change was introduced after a parliamentary panel had suggested higher penalties for traffic offences. In fact, the panel had recommended treating accidents caused by drink driving as pre-meditated crimes rather than as cases of ‘negligence’.

Data on Road Accidents

As per the road accident data for 2022 released by the Centre, drink diving accounted for a substantial portion of road fatalities in the country, causing 3,268 accidents, which is nearly one-tenth of all accidents recorded that year.

Additionally, 1,503 deaths were attributed to drunken driving, comprising 11% of the total road accident deaths in India in 2022.

As per Statista, the number of road accidents across India amounted to 461,000 in 2022. Each year, about 3 to 5% of the GDP of the country was invested in road accidents. About 70% of accidents involved young Indians. The country has about 1% of the global vehicle population but it accounted for 6% of the world’s road traffic accidents.