What is the Fine for Drinking and Driving?


05 January,2023


31 May,2024

penalty for drinking and driving in india

Driving in India can be challenging due to various factors, like unpredictable traffic, with people and animals popping up from all directions. Drinking and driving is a serious crime in India and can increase the risks on the road.


This blog will provide details about the fines for drinking and driving in India. Additionally, it will offer tips on driving safely on Indian roads, helping you navigate through the challenges and stay secure.


What is drinking and driving?

Drinking and driving refers to the act of operating a vehicle (such as a car, motorcycle, or any other mode of transportation) while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When someone consumes alcohol or under influence of drugs and then gets behind the wheel, their ability to drive safely becomes impaired. 


This impairment can lead to a higher risk of accidents, as alcohol affects coordination, reaction time, and judgment, making it menacing for the individual and others on the road. Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a serious offence in India and can result in legal consequences, including fines, license suspension and even imprisonment, to deter people from engaging in this risky behaviour.


What is the fine for drinking and driving?

To tackle the significant dangers of drunk driving, the government has enacted stricter regulations under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act and amended the act in 2019. Penalties under this section involve a fine of ₹10,000 or a maximum imprisonment of 6 months, or a combination of both for the first offence, depending on the severity of the offence. For subsequent violations, individuals may face a fine of ₹15,000 or imprisonment for up to 2 years.


Additionally, the fine for drunk driving in India could vary depending on factors like the level of alcohol in the bloodstream and whether it's a first-time offence. Additionally, driving under the influence of alcohol may lead to criminal charges if it results in harm to someone.


A drinking and driving incident is recorded when an individual is caught operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 30mg per 100ml, as tested by a breath analyser. Additionally, it applies if the person is influenced by drugs to the extent that they cannot properly control the vehicle.


Will insurance provide coverage for cases involving drunk driving?

Your insurance policy will not cover incidents of drinking and driving. In such cases, you won't receive assistance from any insurance company.


Engaging in drinking and driving in India is deemed as a violation, and insurance companies view such behaviour as a significant risk leading to accidents. Therefore, if you find yourself involved in an accident while under the influence of alcohol, it is strongly advised to abstain from seeking insurance coverage without any hesitation. Claims under Section 150 of the MV Act 2019 explicitly state that insurance companies will not cover any liability for individuals driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as outlined in Section 185. rejected.


What are the risk of drunk and driving?

The likelihood of your insurance being cancelled in a drunk driving case depends on your policy's specific terms and conditions. Insurance companies often view drunk driving as a violation, and coverage may be affected. It is crucial to review your policy and consult with your insurance provider for accurate information regarding your coverage in such situations. The cancellation of the policy will depend on the insurance provider. However, claims will be denied in the event of accidents involving alcohol influence.


What is the process of paying the fines?

If you're caught driving under the influence of alcohol by the traffic police, they will first ask you to take a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test to check if you have alcohol in your system. This test is conducted with a breathalyser and determines if your alcohol level exceeds the allowed limit. If it does, you may face penalties for violating traffic rules. The traffic police will issue a challan (fine) against your name, and settling these pending fines is necessary.


For online payment

  • Visit your State’s Transport Department’s official website.

  • Click on the e-challan or traffic violation payment section.

  • Enter your vehicle number or challan number and captcha code.

  • Pay the fines online using a debit/credit card or Internet banking.

  • After successful payment, a confirmation message will be displayed.


For offline payment

  • Visit your nearest traffic police station.

  • Inquire about the amount you need to pay as a fine.

  • Submit the fines and collect the receipt.


The Consequences of Drunk Driving: A Case Study

Arjun, a 32-year-old professional, was caught driving under the influence of alcohol after a night out with friends. His blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeded the legal limit, leading to significant implications.


Arjun faced charges under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act, resulting in a substantial fine and a possible jail term. The court deemed his actions as a threat to public safety, highlighting the stringent measures in place to deter drunk driving.


Arjun's request was denied upon filing an insurance claim for the accident. The insurance company, citing policy terms, stated that accidents occurring under the influence of alcohol were not covered. This left Arjun solely responsible for the repair costs and medical expenses.


Apart from legal and financial setbacks, Arjun experienced personal consequences. His driving license was suspended, affecting his daily commute and professional responsibilities.


This case study underscores the severe and multifaceted consequences associated with drinking and driving incidents. From legal penalties and insurance denials to personal and professional repercussions, the impact of such behaviour is extensive. It serves as a stark reminder of the importance of making responsible choices to ensure the safety of oneself and others on the road.


Do’s and don’ts for road safety

To stay safe on roads, it is advised to follow these safety instructions.



  • Always wear your seat belt to stay safe in case of an accident. 

  • Check your blind spots before changing lanes.

  • Follow posted speed limits, especially in bad weather, and be courteous to other drivers.

  • Give pedestrians the right of way, be aware of bicycles, and pay attention even in familiar areas.

  • Be polite in heavy traffic, respect crosswalks, and make room for bikes when turning.

  • Ensure your spare tire and jack are in good condition, and perform regular car maintenance to avoid breakdowns.

  • Plan your route for long trips, and watch for impaired or distracted drivers.

  • If you notice dangerous driving, pull over and contact law enforcement if needed.

  • Show extra caution in construction zones to protect yourself and others, as speeding in these areas may lead to hefty fines.



  • Avoid drinking alcohol and driving, and don't ride with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

  • Make sure to use your own turn signals and leave enough space for your car and others.

  • Keep a safe distance and avoid tailgating, as insurance can consider rear-ending another vehicle your fault.

  • Follow the traffic rules, which include not driving on the wrong side of the road, letting others go first when required and obeying traffic lights and stop signs.

  • Keep your car stereo at a reasonable volume to avoid disturbing other drivers, and be attentive to train signals and emergency sirens.

  • Don't talk on your cell phone while driving; pull over to make or answer calls if necessary.

  • Avoid distractions during traffic jams, such as texting or checking social media, as distracted driving is unsafe.

  • Avoid doing things that take your attention away or make you react slowly while driving, such as eating or applying makeup.

  • Treating your car seriously means avoiding dangerous behaviours like playing chicken or racing with other vehicles.

  • Stay calm and avoid road rage, as aggressive driving is both unsafe and against the law.

  • Never drive while drowsy or tired; ensure you are well-rested before long drives and take breaks if needed, as fatigue can impair your reaction time and overall driving ability.



Under the MV Act 2019, drinking and driving is an offence in India, and repeated offences can lead to hefty fines, imprisonment and cancellation of a driver's license. Additionally, your vehicle will also be seized.


In conclusion, drinking and driving pose severe risks to individuals and the community at large. The potential consequences, both legal and, more importantly, in terms of safety, underscore the need for responsible and sober driving.


The laws and penalties associated with driving under the influence are in place to deter such behaviour and protect lives. It is crucial for everyone to understand the gravity of this issue, make responsible choices, and contribute to creating safer roads for all. The simple yet powerful message remains: Never Drink and Drive.



1. What are the 10 most important traffic rules to follow while driving?

The rules to be followed while driving on the road include

  1. Always wear a seatbelt or helmet

  2. Avoid distractions

  3. Follow traffic signals

  4. Maintain lane discipline

  5. Always maintain a safe distance

  6. Overtake only from the right

  7. Do not drive more than the specified speed limit

  8. Give way for emergency vehicles

  9. During bad weather, drive slowly

  10. Regular servicing of your vehicle will help avoid accidents


2. Why is drinking and driving illegal in India?

Driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, whether intoxicated or drunk, poses significant dangers. Drivers with a high blood alcohol content (BAC) face a significantly heightened risk of car accidents, injuries on highways and even fatalities. Alcohol can impair coordination and judgment, making it a major contributor to road injuries.


3. Can I refuse a breathalyser test if stopped by the police?

Refusing a breathalyser test is generally not advisable, as it can lead to legal consequences. In many jurisdictions, there are penalties for refusing a breath test, including license suspension and other fines.


4. Does insurance cover accidents caused by driving under the influence of alcohol?

Accidents that occur while driving under the influence of alcohol are not covered by insurance.

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