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Policemen caught with fake devices to check alcohol level – Suspended

A total of 4 policemen from Bangalore have been suspended. They were caught with three fake alcometers, Rs 32,000 in cash (collected via fines from bikers) and a few driving licences have been recovered from them.

Drink and drive test.
Image for reference. Credit – The Viva

An Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) of Police and three constables were caught for using fake alcometers to detect the level of alcohol in commuters. The four policemen included Muniyappa, ASI and constables Gangaraj, Nagaraj and Harsha.

These police personnel were found to have employed men from outside the department and used privately purchased alcometers to conduct drink and drive checks to harass bikers and car owners. They were found to be using private alcometer as against those issued by the Government to conduct these check and would collect fines without issuing any challans.

Following several complaints received, the four policemen have been suspended. They were found to be inspecting vehicles at the Srinivagilu Junction which falls under the Ashoknagar traffic police limits. Acting on the complaints received, a team of traffic police, headed by ACP Satish and Kavita rushed to the spot and found that there were 5 persons assisting the accused.

Honda Activa traffic fine.
Image for reference. Credit – Patrika.

While these 5 privately employed persons managed to escape, the cops on duty were caught and their private alcometers were seized. They had also collected Rs.32,000 in terms of cash while several driving licenses were also found with them.

The 5 persons, in plain clothes, from outside the police department, would apprehend the motorists and two wheeler riders, subject them to DD tests and then send them on to ASI Muniyappa who would in turn collect the fines from them. He would also threaten them with dire consequences of seizure of vehicle and hefty fines upto Rs.15,000 in court.

The accused have been suspended and further inquiry into the case is being sought. In the mean time the Viveknagar police have registered a case of extortion and misuse of official position against the accused ASI Muniyappa, and constables Gangaraj, Nagaraj, and Harsha, all attached to Ashoknagar traffic police station.

Drink driving checks are common in Bengaluru but the drink driving check racket which surfaced now, was conducted by police personnel who were neither tasked with checking drink driving and nor were they given approved alcometers. It is suspected that this racket has been going on for the past month.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a punishable offence. It attracts a fine of upto Rs.2,000 and / or imprisonment upto 6 months in the case of the first offence. In repeat offence within 3 years, the fine is at Rs.3,000 and/or imprisonment upto 2 years. A person can be punished if alcohol exceeds 30 milligrams per 100 millileter of blood and is detected via a breath analyser test.