Have you been affected by drunk driving?
There are not many people in Canada that don’t have some kind of story to tell about drunk driving. Whether it has been themselves, a friend or family member that has either been charged or been the victim of a drunk driver in some way it still seems to be a problem in our society. Attitudes have changed about drunk driving in recent years but nonetheless there are still drunk drivers out on the road every night.
The laws and penalties surrounding driving under the influence have helped to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities that are a result of drunk driving. Simply having a police presence on the road doing random checks as part of the R.I.D.E. program has helped to keep drunk drivers off the road. Whether or not they are concerned about hurting other people, they are at least aware that an officer is waiting with the breathalyzer test and ready to charge them with an offense.
The social stigma surrounding drunk driving has also changed quite a bit over the years. It was not all that long ago when people did not consider drunk driving to be a big deal. Now, perhaps because so many people have been affected, it is frowned upon socially to operate a motor vehicle when you’re drunk. It has also become much more acceptable to be that person that tells a drunk driver that what they’re doing is wrong.
Now that there are portable breathalyzer devices available to everyone there is something more you can do. Not only can having a breathalyzer test around remind people that they should not be driving from, but it can give them an idea of whether or not they are actually too impaired to operate a motor vehicle. If the person were to rely on their own personal feelings about whether they are fit to drive, the decision is potentially flawed because they may be too intoxicated to understand that their motor skills have been compromised. Having a personal breathalyzer test available is an objective way of deciding whether it is alright to drive or not.
One demographic that has been heavily affected by drunk driving is teenagers. When people are able to get a driver’s license at such a young age, there can be many different kinds of pressure that will steer them into bad situations. It doesn’t really matter what the drinking age is, many parties that teenagers go to have alcohol. Despite educational programs in schools and the fear of police officers with breathalyzer tests, teenage drunk driving still occurs.
If you have teenage children that have licenses, try to think about what’s really important in the long run. Peer pressure can be very difficult to resist at that age and there is the possibility that even the most responsible child can end up operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. You should make it clear to your children that there are many better options than this and that driving drunk is not just the last resort, it is not an option at all. Leave a portable breathalyzer test in your car to remind them, as teenagers tend to forget things.