Confirming its verdict on making National and State Highways liquor-free zones, the Supreme Court clarified that its prohibition on the sale of liquor within a distance of 500 metres from the outer edge of these main thoroughfares is not restricted to liquor shops alone but also includes other larger establishments.

Rationale behind adding hotels to the judgement
The court said exempting establishments other than “shops involved in sale of liquor,” which include bar-attached hotels, wine and beer parlours dotting highways, would amount to dilution of the objective of its judgment to prevent drunk driving, one of the major killers plaguing Indian roads.

Why was sale of liquor banned in the vicinity of National and State Highways?
Drunken driving is a potent source of fatalities and injuries in road accidents. The court said its duty to protect public health and safety clearly overrides the interests of liquor traders.

The December verdict had directed the States and Union Territories to stop the grant of licences to establishments located within 500 metres of National and State Highways. April 1, 2017 was fixed as the date for phasing out existing liquor licences.