One only has to read the newspaper on a daily basis to see that the instances of impaired driving don’t seem to be dwindling.
In provincial court in Summerside last week alone there were five Prince County residents convicted of impaired driving, all with varying levels of impairment, and one with a blood-alcohol reading almost triple the legal limit.
And there are the police releases, mostly from RCMP from various sectors of the province, issued almost daily of yet another drunk driver caught on Island roads.
One such report, issued this past weekend, indicated that a snowmobile driver involved in an accident six weeks ago was driving the machine impaired and charged as a result.
These stories, when posted on media websites, illicit all kinds of reaction, mostly bewilderment by readers who cannot understand why penalties are not stiffer and why people continue to break the law?
Why, the question begs to be asked, are Islanders not getting the message that getting behind the wheel while impaired is wrong?
These stories and reports, although they show the public that police agencies are doing their job in getting drunk drivers off the road, are too commonplace. Maybe they are so commonplace that many take them with a grain of salt, as the norm.
But the public should be outraged with each report and prompted to take action to help curb and even stop impaired driving.
We’ve all been there, at a party or a bar where there were people consuming alcohol to the point of impairment and before long grabbing their keys, saying they were going to drive hope.
This is when individuals need to step up and step in.
That’s when that person must be stopped, their keys taken away and a drive provided for them, a cab called or a place to sleep it off provided.
Also, when drivers are on the road and see a vehicle driving erratically a simple call to 911 to report should be made.
The driver may not necessarily be impaired but they may also be drunk behind the wheel.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
We, as Islanders, don’t have to be bystanders and complain after the fact when we read about impaired driving.
By taking these simple actions each and every one of us can do something that can make the difference between life and death.