Easily Organize, Claim and Renew Insurance!

Information on Drink and Drive Penalties in India

Having your own house is like a dream-come-true and is quite an important goal for most. Likewise, owning a car is quite significant for most people as well.

However, owning a car and driving the same is full of responsibilities as well. There are rules for driving a car which is specific to any country which needs to be adhered to but mostly the norms of driving are common to all countries. It simply means that drunken driving is not acceptable by the law of any country. It imposes a risk to your own family as well as other people on the road.

Never Mix Drinking and Driving

India reported 467,044 road accidents in 2018 which is 0.5% increase from 2017 data. According to a World Health Organization of 2018, India owns 1% of the world’s vehicles but accounts for 6% of the global road traffic accidents.

Many of these road accidents are recorded every year due to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The driver with the car becomes the worst possible fatal weapons that get affected because of drinking and driving as they not only harm themselves but becomes very risky to the public also on the roads. Why take this risk when this can be avoided? Drinking and Driving is a punishable offence in India.

How to avoid drinking and driving?

If you are planning a party which involves alcohol for the weekends and holidays, you can appoint a driver rather than you driving or be a responsible host if you are hosting a party and making sure that everyone drives back home safely.
Try and plan activities which are alcohol-free and engage yourself and others in exploring new things. Like these, we can do many small things which will help us to avoid drinking and driving.

Thus, as a responsible citizen of India, let us make sure that we drive safely for ourselves as well as others and never plan driving when you are intoxicated. Hence, never drink and drive, always follow the traffic rules and reach your destination safely.

The drinking norms in India

In India, the permissible and lawful age for consuming alcohol differs between 18 years – 25 years, and varies from one state to another. Some states have totally banned alcohol.

For example, Karnataka, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, and some other States have an official and legal drinking age of 18 years whereas some states like Haryana, Delhi, etc. have a sanctioned and lawful drinking age of 25 years. A maximum number of states and union territories in India have a lawful drinking age of 21 years.

States like Bihar, Gujarat, Nagaland, Manipur and the union territory of Lakshadweep have completely banned the sale of alcohol.

So, even though drinking norms vary from state to state in India, drink and drive rules apply uniformly throughout the country, i.e. it is unlawful and prohibited to drink and drive according to the Motor Vehicle Act 2019. Thus, driving under the impact of alcohol or drugs is treated as a criminal offence and even insurance claim is not admissible.

Drink and drive – Alcohol Limit in India

As a driver, you must know the limit of alcohol which is permissible. Any individual in whose blood, alcohol above 30 MG/ 100 ML of blood, is being spotted in a particular test done by a breath analyser, is considered to be a case of drink and drive under the effect of alcohol. The same will also be applicable to any individual who is under the effect of drugs to such a level which makes him or her incompetent of suitable control over the motor vehicle.

Drink and drive fine and Punishment

As a responsible citizen in India, you must be aware of the punishment which is there for non-adherence to the drink and drive rules. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 -Section 185 considers drink and drive as illegal in India and is punishable under the Indian Penal Court.

And as per this act, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be punished for the first-time offence with police custody till 6 months and/or with a penalty of an amount which may be till INR 2000. If the same offence is repeated within a period of 3 years of so, the offence will be punished with imprisonment for till 2 years and/or with a fine of INR 3000.

Legal Implication for drunken driving:

As per Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 & Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016, driving by a drunken individual or by an individual under the influence of drugs. Whoever, while driving, or attempting to drive, a motor vehicle:

  • (a) has, in his blood, alcohol exceeding 30 mg. per 100 ml. of blood detected in a test by a breath analyser, or
  • (b) is under this influence of a drug to such an extent as to be incapable of exercising proper control over the vehicle, shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both; and for a second or subsequent offence, if committed within three years of the commission of the previous similar offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to three thousand rupees, or with both. Explanation. For the purposes of this section, the drug or drugs specified by the Central Government in this behalf, by notification in the Official Gazette, shall be deemed to render a person incapable of exercising proper control over a motor vehicle.

Detailed information about drink and drive fine for different types of vehicles as per the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016

The Union Cabinet presided by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given his approval for Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 lately. The Amendment bill intends to progress in safety of roads and offers a much higher range of penalties for drink and drive.

From 1st September 2019, the fines for road safety has been increased heavily. The fine for a drink and drive under the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 has been risen from INR 2000 to INR 10,000.

In the case of drunken driving, the fines are as follows:

  • For the first offence, there is imprisonment up to a period of 6 months and/or a penalty of INR 10,000, which has gone up from the erstwhile fine of INR 2,000
  • However, for the second offence, the imprisonment clause is 2 years and/or a penalty of INR 15,000, which has gone up from the erstwhile fine of INR 3,000

Now your probable question can be is drink and drive fine similar for all categories of vehicles? The answer is YES. The sum of penalty levied for drink and drive is identical for all kinds of motor vehicles be it a four-wheeler, two-wheeler, or a commercial motor vehicle.

Process for paying drink and drive fine

The procedure when you will be caught for drunk driving:

As mentioned above, if the values which are found in the test match or more than 30 MG/ 100 ML of blood, the concerned officer of the Motor Vehicles Department will issue a challan. You must not refrain yourself from taking the test, as then you will have the probabilities of being arrested and you will face further legal complications.

You may pay for the drink and drive either online portal or offline as per the challan.

Online Method of payment of fine for drunk driving:

  • You need to login to the official website of the respective State’s Department of Transport
  • Then you will have to click on the payment tab of e-challan or the payment for a traffic violation
  • You would then require to enter the vehicle number or the challan number and then fill in the captcha code
  • And then make an online payment by using your debit or credit card or through an e-wallet like PayTM for the imposed fine
  • After the payment is successfully processed, you will receive a confirmation message for the receipt.

Offline Method of payment of fine for drunk driving:

In case you are unable to make a payment online, you can do it offline as well. However, the process is a little more tedious but it can surely be done. You would be required to visit in person to an adjacent traffic police station in the respective zone and enquire for the amount that you are responsible to pay for the approaching fine and make offline payment through cash or your debit or credit card. After payment of the same, you would need to take a receipt for the same.

Thus, you need to be alert, do not drink and drive and obey all traffic rules to drive safely. If needed, use a cab instead of driving to avoid unnecessary legal hassles and be safe. Driving is not only about having your own car but we need to remember that we are responsible for the safety of others as well on the roads when we are driving.


A Breathalyzer is a machine used to analyse an individual’s sample of breath to see the level of blood alcohol measurement in the individual. Traffic officials usually carry this device. When asked by the concerned traffic police, one needs to cooperate and give them the required breath sample.

No, the vehicle insurance policy does not cover the drink and drive fine. Neither does an insurance policy cover any accidental damages to your own vehicle or to a third-party under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Traffic rules define drunken driving as driving a vehicle or riding a two-wheeler under the influence of alcoholic constituents. Taking alcohol beyond the agreed limit and driving is subject to drink and drive fine and sometimes imprisonment is also applicable.

Yes, it is applicable for all kinds of vehicles, including commercial ones.

Yes, you can. If the consumption is very less and within the limit of alcohol content, as per the law, then you need not pay the drink and drive fine.