A city court on Friday suspended the driving licence of Telugu television anchor Machiraju Pradeep for three years for drunken driving.
The court also imposed Rs 2,100 fine on the anchor, who was caught driving under influence of alcohol during the New Year.
Pradeep was caught driving his BMW in an inebriated condition on December 31 night. His blood alcohol content was recorded at 178 mg/ml as against the permissible 35. The police seized his car and directed him to attend a counseling session, which he did with his father after remaining untraceable for a week. The police let him off with a warning.
However, as the police had referred the case to the court as per the rules, the hearing was held on Friday.
The judge asked Pradeep as to how he resorted to drunken driving when he had made an appeal to youngsters through a video message not to drink and drive. About the video, he had earlier said, “As far as the old video is concerned, I had said that and have ended up in this situation. Therefore, I hope that no one repeats the mistake that I did. Thank you.”
With drunken driving leading to accidents in and around the city, the police are cracking down on violators. Police teams are conducting intensive checks during nights, especially weekends.
Those caught have to attend a mandatory counselling session by the police before appearing in court. The courts have been awarding between one day and 30 days of imprisonment, depending on the severity of the case.
Earlier Pradeep had said about this, “We all know what happened in December 31. As per law, I’m following all proceedings since then. As per the instructions I have received, I will attend counselling and the proceedings that will follow,” he said.
Police booked as many as 2,500 people for drunken driving during New Year celebrations in the city.
Last year, 7,500 people were sent to jail on charges of driving vehicles under the influence of alcohol.