When someone talks about the trip to Goa, what is the first things that comes to their mind? Of course, a good quality liquor and nightlife. These two goes hand in hand. But drinking and driving never goes hand in hand and to stop the drunk drive culture, the Goa Road Transport Ministry has decide to implement a new law.
Do you know Goa has around 7000 bars? Yes it is a fact, according to the reports, the Goa state excise department has issued 6918 licenses till June 2012.
You may be wondering the data is almost decade old but the fact is Goa stopped issuing the new licenses long back and those who want to enter into this business have no other options but to take over the existing bars and run them.
A good quality liquor tempts the customer to gulp down a peg or two extra over and above their usual capacity, which brings the concern of the safety of the customer who may have to drive after a drink, and not to avoid more road accidents, the state government has decided to implement the new legislation.
According to the new law, the Bar and Pub owners will have to make available a licensed drivers to their customers who gets tipsy after a drink. This new development will curb the drunk driving accidents in this tiny beautiful state.
The new law has been mulled by state Transport Ministry under the leadership of Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho.
“When I talk of drunken driving, in the long term, my government will bring a legislation which will make it compulsory in all places, which I call watering holes where people drink, to keep a driver,” Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho told media reporters late on Monday.
The new law will be enforced to all the Bar owners who will be responsible to make arrangements of the licensed drivers for their drunk customer and also don’t allow them to drive their own vehicle.
So if people are drunk, they (bar owners) don’t allow them to go in their own vehicle. It will be a law. They will have to go back with the driver (arranged for by the bar).
The whole idea behind this new development is to reduce the road accidents as most of the accidents takes place due to the negligence of the driver and drunk driving is one of them. According to the minister the new law will curb the road accidents and it will also make Goa a safe place for driving.
“Goa is a very progressive state recognised by everyone in the country. In this respect as far as road safety is concerned, we should also be number one. There should be less road accidents,” he said.
Godinho said that his Ministry was working on ways to ensure smooth implementation of the proposed law.
“The people of Goa will have to follow (rules) just like they do in developed countries like Dubai,” he said adding, his government is working on the smooth implementation of the new law. “We are going to take it in the next Road Safety Council meeting, evolve a plan and work according to the plan.”
Godinho said that tourists were welcome to come and drink in Goa, but they should not drink and drive.
The new laws will not be just mean for the locals but it will also be applicable to the tourists coming down to Goa. Tourists can enjoy in Goa and drink as much as they want but they also need to follow the guidelines laid down by the state.
“We want tourists in big numbers who can come and spend. We also want them to enjoy. When I say enjoy, I mean they drink. Let them drink. But when they drink, they will have to follow discipline. It is unacceptable that they drive on the streets (drunk).
Mauvin was addressing the media on the occasion of road safety week, he said that there is a stiff rise in the road accidents due to the overspending and drunk driving without licenses.
“I have asked the transport department to make suggestions to the excise department to make it compulsory on every bar owner to offer driving services along with a vehicle for drunk customers. We are examining how to put a proposal in rule and implement it. This concept is already being followed in some foreign countries wherein one member in the group coming to the bar is not given liquor so that he can drive other members safely. It is done for the safety of innocent people on road,” Godinho said.
“Why I am saying this? One person gets drunk and meets with an accident and other people suffer. Innocent people lose their lives and it is unacceptable,” he added.