New Delhi: Terming drunken driving a "menace" to society, the Supreme Court has said that persons driving vehicles under the influence of alcohol should not get away with minor punishment and fine.

The Apex Court said the pedestrians are not safe in cities with late night parties followed by drunken driving becoming a way of life among urban elite.

"Drunken driving has become a menace to our society. Everyday drunken driving results in accidents and several human lives are lost, pedestrians in many of our cities are not safe. Late night parties among urban elite have now become a way of life followed by drunken driving," Justice S Radhakrishanan said.

The court's made the critical remarks in its verdict in the infamous BMW hit-and-run case, convicting 34-year-old Nanda under the stringent provision of culpable homicide not amounting to murder for mowing down six people, including three policemen, with his car on Lodhi Raod in South Delhi in 1999.

Justice Radhakrishanan said such incidents are bound to increase as there is no safety for pedestrians on roads.

"Punishment meted out to a drunken driver, is at least a deterrent for other such persons getting away with minor punishment and fine. Such incidents are bound to increase with no safety for pedestrians on the roads," the court said while asking Nanda to pay a fine of Rs fifty lakh and to do community service for two years.


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