The Apex court in a ruling today said that liquor shops on the national and state highways, across the state will be banned.
However, the shops can continue functioning till the time they have the license.
The Supreme Court further said that the existing license of the liquor shops will not be renewed after March 31, 2017.
The court also directed that all signages indicating presence of liquor shops will be prohibited on national and state highways.
The ruling came in the wake of public interest litigation filed by an NGO called ‘Arrive Safe’, which said that 1.42 lakh people die annually in road accidents, many of which are caused by drunk driving. The NGO claimed that the major reason for drunk driving was the easy availability of alcohol on the highways.
A road accident leads to both civil and criminal liabilities on the part of the driver, depending upon the nature and cause of the accident. Mainly, Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 deals with issues related to road accidents. Indian Penal Code covers areas of criminal liabilities.
Accidents caused by the rashness or negligence of driver leads to criminal liability.
In cases of drunk driving, Section 185 of the MV Act envisages a six-month prison term and/or a fine of up to Rs 2,000 for first-time offenders. For the second or subsequent offence, committed within three years of the first offence, the imprisonment may extend to two years with or without a fine up to Rs 3,000.