How are you planning to celebrate this New Year’s Eve? If you want to bid the year goodbye by partying hard and getting drunk, then be prepared to give a blood test. Yes! This year, Delhi Police has decided to get blood tests done to check cases of drunk and driving.
Informing about the plan, Manish Aggarwal, Joint CP, Traffic, Delhi, says, “We expect a lesser crowd this year due to coronavirus, but our arrangements would be as strict as previous years. Due to coronavirus, this time we will refrain from using alcometer, and have asked Delhi government to provide us doctors who will conduct the blood test. In and around the area of Connaught Place, this test will be conducted at Parliament Street while for other areas, the suspect will be taken to the nearest hospital. They [defaulters] will be subjected to the medical test to check the quantity of alcohol [in their blood]. We have also asked restaurants to allow entry only after a pre-booking, and issue parking labels especially in areas such as Connaught Place and Hauz Khas.”
Those denizens who thought they would finally party to bid the corona-year a befitting goodbye, are sceptical now. Aayush Gupta, a resident of Faridabad who had plans to celebrate New Years in Khan Market, says, “This is a little scary to hear. I mean alcometer was fine, but blood test! Mujhe to injection se hi dar lagta hai, ab ya to piyunga nahi ya fir drive nahi karunga.”
Another Delhiite, Sanghamitra Mallick, who lives in a PG in the Capital, has a similar reaction to this news, and says, “Ye sunne ke baad I’ve decided that at the time of going for the party, I’ll take the Metro, and while returning, we need to book a cab. I was okay driving down to the party venue till the time the cops checked with an alcometer, but blood test nahi karwa sakti mai to prove I’m not drunk beyond permissible limit. I understand why the Police is doing that, but it sounds so unsafe to go to a hospital to get checked for alcohol consumption in your blood. And I know certain ways to get rid of alcometer test, par blood test se kaise bachenge?”
The restauranteurs say they have ensured all arrangements are in place to allow party lovers to enjoy even a safe experience in the pandemic – six feet distance, masks, sanitisers, pre-bookings etc. But, to discourage people from drunk driving, they will serve responsibly. “Our restaurant is hosting a New Year’s party that will follow all the government guidelines. Though the packages we have, allow unlimited food and drinks, it doesn’t mean we won’t take care of how much alcohol we are serving to our customers. It would not been the case that they can get a drink even after getting completely drunk. We will ensure that! Also if one will not be in a state to drive back home after party, we would encourage them to take a cab, and will make the necessary arrangements,” says Shaan Sarin, owner of a lounge and bar in Punjabi Bagh. And Ricky Sethi, owner of a restaurant that has branches in Rajouri Garden and Naraina, adds, “We’ve a permissible capacity number at our restaurant, and we will be strictly following that. For alcohol check, we will ensure that no mixing takes place.”
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