Q&A - Impaired Driving

Q&A ImageMy comment is about drinking and driving.

My husband made an interesting statement a while ago that really stuck with me. He said he felt the reason we still have so many people drinking and driving is because we allow them to make a judgement on whether or not they are impaired after they have had a drink.

In our discussion he suggested that if we had a zero tolerance law then we wouldn't see this happen so much. There will always people who believe it is their right to get in their car and drive no matter what but for those who are normally responsible they would be able to make their decision prior to having the first drink. It is the fact that we allow people to have the drink prior to making a decision that puts people in the position of making a poor judgement with regard to their level of intoxication.

Further to that, our society and culture is so car-centric that we have become oblivious to the idea that every time we get behind the wheel, we have a hugely destructive piece of equipment in our control and we don't give our driving the respect and attention it deserves until after something awful has happened.

Anyway, I just thought that his comment was interesting and thought provoking. Obviously, there would be a lot of opposition to an idea like this but maybe there is something in what he has suggested.


I Agree!

...and so do many lawyers I have spoken with at the courthouse while we were awaiting a trial with an impaired driver.

This is supposed to be the way it works now with drivers in BC's Graduated Licensing Program, but if my experience with young drivers is any indication, quite a few of them don't believe it. I suspect that they have watched adults (parents) drink to some extent and then drive. If adults can do it, why shouldn't the teens?

I once suggested to the provincial government that there should be a traffic ticket for those who drank alcohol and drove afterward. A BAC of 0 to 20 mg% could go free, 20 to 35 would pay a fine, 35 to 50 would pay a higher fine, 50 to 75 a still higher fine and a 24 hour prohibition, 75 to 100 even more money and a 24 hour prohibition and 100+ a criminal impaired driving charge. I still think it is a good idea, but I am not holding my breath before I see it implemented.

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