NEW DELHI: Prohibition seems to have helped Bihar rein in deaths caused by drunk driving, with the number of such fatalities dropping 60% between 2015 and 2016.
The liquor ban came into force in the state in 2016. Meanwhile, the number of fatalities caused by drunk driving almost doubled in Uttar Pradesh in the same span —from 1,404 in 2015 to 2,716 in 2016 — according to the government’s latest report on road accidents.
Bihar is one of three states that saw fewer deaths, injuries and accidents caused by drunk driving in 2016 than the year before, the others being Jharkhand and Haryana. However, West Bengal, Punjab, Puducherry and Odisha are among the states and Union territories where the number of deaths in drunk-driving-related accidents have gone up.
Delhi registered a five-fold increase in such fatalities — while six persons died in drunk-driving-related cases in 2015, 30 were killed last year. After TOI first reported on April 21 the lower drunk driving-related road fatalities in Bihar, the state government had cited the drop as one of the achievements of its complete ban on liquor. At 541, Bihar reported the maximum decline in drunk-driving-related road deaths, in absolute figures, between 2015 and 2016, among the eight states and Union Territories where the number of deaths fell.