Anyone following the news in the paper, online or on the radio lately will have noticed many reports of impaired driving charges.
The reports do not necessarily mean there are more impaired drivers on the roads than in the past; just that police are making sure to put out a report every time they lay such a charge.
And so they should.
There was a time when the first public knowledge of someone being charged with impaired would be when the individual gets convicted in court.
What all this additional information should do is make everyone aware that the police are out there, they’re watching and they are serious about catching impaired driving.
Unfortunately, though, some impaired drivers don’t get caught until they are involved in a collision, injuring themselves or someone else. By then it’s too late. The damage has been done.
So, yes, get the reports out there, make the public aware how selfish, stupid, dangerous and criminal it is to get behind the wheel after drinking so that, hopefully, and sooner rather than later, those drivers will get the message and leave the keys alone.
Too many innocent people and too many impaired people have died because someone made the decision to take the chance and drive after drinking. One death was too many.
And it seems some people don’t even think of it as taking a chance. Some don’t even get the message after one or more convictions; some continue to drive – sober or impaired - while suspended from doing so.
That-is-so-selfish, so inconsiderate, so wrong.
If 20 people on our Island get charged with impaired driving in one week, each of these charges is news. If it ever gets to the point where there is one impaired driving charge in one year, it will still be news. Impaired driving is a serious offence. It can have life-changing, life-ending consequences. It can never be treated as old news or ‘been there, read that, bought the T-shirt.’
Society owes a round of thanks to those individuals who refuse to allow people to drive from their premises impaired, or who will either forcefully, if necessary, take the keys from an individual intent on driving drunk or summon police to intervene.
Impaired driving is a serious issue that commands serious attention.