Teen Drinking and Driving

Keys and DrinkI spoke to a woman this week who was upset at the way the police had handled the clearing of an out of control party at a residence. The officer had advised all the teens that they must leave immediately and would not listen to reasons for doing anything other than that. She was upset because this forced the teens to drive away from the party while impaired.

I will not discuss his behaviour, but that of those who placed him in this position.

The last time I checked, the legal drinking age in British Columbia was 19. Had the law been followed, the majority of the teens at the party would not have been in this situation to start with.

The Graduated Licensing Program requires that its participants have no alcohol in their blood at the time of driving. Why would a teen in the GLP choose to go to a party and consume alcohol knowing that they were going to drive away from it at some time during the evening?

The officer did not force the teens to get into their cars and drive. The majority of them had two good legs, and assuming that they were parked legally, could easily have walked home and returned to pick up their vehicles the next day. They could also have used their cell phones to call for rides.

Full blame must not be placed on the teens. After all, they recieved permission to use the vehicles involved from their parents. I dare say that there is a duty of care placed on the parents whenever they hand over the car keys or sponsor the ownership of a vehicle.

Common sense and courtesy toward the neighbours by the party goers would also have meant that the police would not have known about the gathering in the first place.

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