Breath analyser test or any other test mandatory to proceed against a person for drunk driving: Kerala High Court

    Last week, in Manoj Kumar v State of Kerala, the Kerala High Court ruled that to be punished under Section 185 (drunk driving) of the Motor Vehicles Act, the detection of intoxication in a person would have to be backed by a breath analyser test. The said ruling came as a result of Justice VG Arun disposing of an application filed by a person accused of drunk driving.

    The accused had rammed his car into another car. He was then arrested and examined by a doctor who found the smell of alcohol in his breath. Thereafter, the person was charged with Section 185.

    The counsel for the petitioner contended that the accused should have been subjected to a breath analyser test or any other test and could be charged under Section 185(a) of the Motor Vehicles Act only if his blood contained alcohol content that exceeded 30 mg/100 ml.

    The Court pointed out that after the 2019 amendment, the law mandated either a laboratory test or breath analyser test.

    Since no test had been conducted, the Court stated that the proceeding against Section 185 could be quashed.