Mangaluru: The city police commissioner had cautioned merry-makers to stay within limits, whether in drinking, creating noise in public and to avoid harassing the passersby, esp., young women on the pretext of wishing a happy new year.
He had also warned that strict police vigil would be kept throughout the city to avert any undesirable developments. The citizens were told not to be at the wheel under the influence of alcohol. If the use of vehicles was a must, they were asked to be driven around by an abstainer.
In spite of the warning, forty persons were found driving under the influence of alcohol beyond the accepted limits late in the night of Dec 31. The number could have been much higher, given the kind of revelry the public indulges in at such times. It is also possible that the police were a bit lax in checking the drivers.
Now there is an element of embarrassment for those booked for the offence. Unlike in the past, spot fines were not imposed. Now all of them will have carry the tickets to the court on the appointed date and pay the fine, in wide view of the lawyers, litigants and the public.
If being regarded guilty in a court would serve as a deterrent in future is yet to be seen.