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Ban on liquor sales on highway

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Whenever Supreme Court comes up with an overarching decision, the whole country goes into a commotion. What percentage of the population on the highways really gets down to drink. This affects a small percentage of people, who are addicted to alcohol. The tall claims about loss in thousands of crores is all empty rhetoric which we witness on every issue. SC has done the right thing with the order. Time people got used to disciplined living as per law, that is, no drunk driving. A very good order of SC which was long overdue. Those who have lost friends and family in road accidents will welcome this order. States attempting to dilute this order by circumventing the rules should be held in contempt. If the SC is more concerned about the safety of the people then the Government need to make the roads of international standards. Further, large number of persons who frequent bars do not drive. Such persons have the liberty to exercise their personal choice; as they do not drive on public roads, Government and Court should protect their freedom, in the spirit of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The intention of the Hon'ble Supreme Court about preventing drinking and driving is a laudable objective. If bar-owners are willing to assume the responsibility of ensuring that the drinks are not served to persons who drive and are empowered to conduct breath analyzer tests on persons leaving the bar and driving, they should be allowed to carry out their trade, according to the license issued by respective State Governments. The pertinent question is that what difference does it make if people are drunk 500 meters away and come on to the highways? Strict ban on liquor on highway is a realistic one but how the system works well is an open question?

— C. Krishnan Subramaniam, Sanpada

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