Q&A - Are We Too Regulated?

Q&A ImageJust wondering if you read the article in the province where Tom Stamatakis, president of the BC police union gave his thoughts on the new impaired driving laws? Food for thought don't you think? I'm beginning to think we are becoming too regulated.

My lady and I used to go out a couple of times a week and enjoy a fine bottle of wine with our supper. No more now we don't even have a glass of wine because of the harsh penalties.

I never felt I was a danger to anyone as I drove home and never had a problem with several stops that I encountered with the odd RCMP road check.

I sense responsible people of my generation are beginning to resent the intrusions on our lives as we have for the most part been responsible and decent citizens.


Ill Considered Remark?

Actually, Tom is the president of the Vancouver City Police Union. His remarks that you are referring to appear to be as follows:

Ultimately, from a front-line police officer’s perspective, we’re ending up not targeting the person that’s responsible for the very serious tragedies that we deal with on an ongoing basis,” said Stamatakis. “Even if you support the change of regulations, I don’t think any of us support the fact that we’ve now become the judge and the jury. Our job is to enforce the law and another part of our criminal justice system should be dealing with the guilt or innocence thing and imposing what the penalties should be.

I think that this is really a political statement on his part. No doubt some of the officers that he represents are uncomfortable with the public expressing their dislike of the penalties and focusing on the police as the source of the problem instead of taking ownership of it themselves. The police are doing their job as required by the law. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that if they don't like it, maybe it's time to change jobs.

The driving segment whose BAC is between 50 and 100 mg% is not being treated any differently today in terms of police being the judge and jury. What has changed is the penalty associated with that action becoming much more severe. Legislation has attempted to deter drinking and driving for many years in the form of the 24 hour suspension. Given that you could easily find drivers in this BAC range without much effort, the legislature has upped the ante.

My personal opinion is that drivers with a BAC over 50 mg% are a hazard on our highways and I do not want to share with them.

As for your bottle of wine at dinner, if you are really worried, you can find a way to get there and back without having to drive and still enjoy it. If you don't like the idea of a bus, taxi or walking arrange with your neighbour. One week you drive them and the next week they drive you. If you have two glasses and spread them out over a couple of hours or more you can still drive and not worry about being caught up in this. However, if you drink for the buzz, then driving is not an option.

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