In today’s World, the offence of Drunk and Drive is very common. Nowadays, most of the youngsters are taking alcohol on a daily basis, without even knowing their side effects. People not only consume alcohol but after ingesting it, they mostly are not in their senses after that. They drive as they want to go pub, or to go home, or roam with their friends in the societies, or else to go from one place to another for fun. This is not only harmful to themselves but also harmful for other common people who are on the road, or who have not taken alcohol.

Not only youngsters but also aged persons do the same act nowadays. It was mandatory to form a law regarding this, and our Indian Government made a Law in 1988 to stop this harmful act done by most of the people as knowingly or else unknowingly. Hence, now it becomes a criminal offence in the eyes of the Government. Even though the Government has also given the legally valid age for drinking alcohol, however, no one follows it. The pub owners do not follow the prescribed age limit and serve the alcohol to the underage people also. On the other hand, the youngsters also do not obey the law and do engage themselves in drinking alcohol.

Legally Valid Drinking Age

The legal age for drinking alcohol is different in the state to state from 18 years to 25 years. Some states have completely banned alcohol. While some states like; Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, etc have fixed legal drinking age of 18 years, whereas some states like, Delhi, Haryana, etc have a legal drinking age of 25 years. While most of the states have a legal drinking age of 21 years. In every state of India, have different age is prescribed for the legal validity of drinking alcohol, although in some states, like Gujarat, Bihar, Manipur, Nagaland & Lakshadweep,  the consumption of alcohol is completely banned.


A breathalyzer is an equipment used to measure the blood alcohol content of a person from a breath sample. The Central Government has approved this device for Breath Test, for analyzing the indication of the presence of the alcohol in a person’s blood.

Alcohol Limit for Driving

If any person, in a test by breathalyzer is detected to have alcohol in his/her blood which is more than 30mg per 100ml of blood is said to be in a state of drink and driving. The same applies to the person who intakes drugs. Like if any person who is under the influence of a drug, to that extent where he/she is incapable to control over the vehicle. A person will be punishable for Drink and Drive offence if he is found under the prescribed limit mentioned above.

Presumption of Drunk 

If Police Officer at any time, requested someone for Breath test through Breathalyzer, and it is proved that he/she had :

  1. refused to do so, or
  2. omitted, or
  3. failed to consent to the taking of, or
  4. providing a specimen of his breath for a breath test, or
  5. a specimen of his blood for a laboratory test, his refusal, omission or failure.

Then he would be presumed to be proof of the fact that he/she was indeed driving in an alcohol/drug-impaired condition.

The drugs that are deemed to render a person incapable of exercising proper control over a motor vehicle as specified by the Central Government include – Central Nervous System Depressants (Cocaine & Cannabis), Hypnotic Sedatives, Narcotic Analgesics (Morphine etc.), Psychotropic drugs (LSD), Stimulants & Tranquilizers (Diazepam, etc.).

Drunken Driving Punishment – Section 185 

In the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Section 185, describes that driving under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offence in India. As per the said Act, driving by a drunken person or driving under the influence of drugs comprises of two situations:

  • In a test of breath analyzer, the alcohol content is exceeding 30 mg. per 100ml. of blood, or
  • He/she is under the influence of a drug to that extent as to be incapable of exercising proper control over the vehicle.

They shall be punishable as below-

  • First offence : It is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 6 months and/or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.
  • Second or subsequent offence, if committed within three years of similar offence : It is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to two years and/or with a fine of three thousand rupees, or with both.

Amendment New Bill 2019

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Amendment Bill will ensure more safety and also increase the higher level of consciousness among people. The punishment for drunk and drive is imprisonment for 6 months or the penalty of Rs. 10,000/- or both. Before, the Amendment, this amount was Rs. 2,000/-. There is no spot fine for drunk driving. The offender has to bear the fine in the court for his challan of drunk and drive.


The number of challans of drink and drive is increasing rapidly. Most of the challans don’t even makeup to Court. The Police Officers dismisses them by taking some bribe. The Amendment Bill recently introduced will deterrent the people, which in a way will decrease the number of cases of drink and drive.

If you have any queries related to the drink and drive case, you can contact us. Our team of expert lawyers at Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates will get back to you and will resolve the issues.


By Parita Kaushik
Associate in Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates

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