In the wake of increasing number of accidents due to drunken driving, the Centre has asked state governments not to give licences for liquor shops along the National Highways.
"Chief Secretaries/Principal Secretaries/Secretaries (Transport) of all states/UTs have been requested to ensure that no licence is issued to liquor vendors along with the National Highways," Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari informed Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Though licencing of liquor shops is covered under Excise Policy of the state and enforcement of various provisions of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 is responsibility of states, on account of "deadly figures due to drunken driving menace" the Centre has taken various steps, the minister said.
Gadkari said inceptors with breath analysers have been provided by his ministry to states to check cases of violations of traffic rules including drunken driving.
Earlier in September, the Supreme Court had called for a total ban on liquor shops along national highways. The apex court had also directed excise commissioners of all states to hold a meeting in Delhi to discuss the feasibility of its implementation.
As per the law, while driving a motor vehicle, if a person has a Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) exceeding 30 mg of intake per 100 ml of blood detected by a Breathalyzer, he or she is booked under 'first offense'. This consists of imprisonment for a term, which may extend up to six months, or with a fine up to two thousand rupees or both.
In India, around 1,18,840 road accidents have occurred in the last five years due drunken driving.
(With inputs from PTI)