It’s the holiday season. There are going to be office parties, cocktail parties, home Christmas parties, lots of home-cooked dinners, New Year’s Eve parties, all with lots of opportunities to drink alcohol.

With all of these opportunities to drink, there are also plenty of opportunities to get in a car and drive home.

There are the excuses “I’m fine, I’ve only had a couple of drinks.” “I’m only a short distance away” “I’ve done it before and have been OK.”

It’s not OK.

Impaired driving is an issue in our city and province, and police have been making strides to deal with it. In 2011, police charged 412 people with impaired driving. So far in 2014, 185 drivers have been charged.

In addition, police in conjunction with Alberta sheriffs, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Alberta Motor Association, checked 1,948 vehicles during a checkstop this past weekend, with no impaired driving charges or roadside suspensions issued.

Police have been working to get the message out, and that statistic from last weekend indicates the public seems to be listening.

However, despite the messaging and information about the issue, some people still aren’t getting the message.

It’s been said over and over again, but it bears repeating: Impaired driving is a huge issue, especially in December, as there are more opportunities for people to drink. It boggles the mind how people will not exercise the best judgment and still decide they’re safe to drive.

Across the province, from 2009-2013, nearly 90 people were killed a year and more than 1,300 people were injured in alcohol-related collisions, and one in every six drivers in a fatal crash has consumed alcohol, according to a 2013 Alberta Transportation report. We have all likely known a person or people who have been impacted by impaired driving, and yet it is still happening.

Source: Medicine Hat News

Last updated on: 2014-12-18 | Link to this post