May 25, 2017 - OPINION: ZERO TOLERANCE IS THE ONLY OPTION LEFT WHEN IT COMES TO DRUNK DRIVING


Although Durham Regional police officers conduct regular RIDE campaigns throughout the course of the year they generally increase their presence on our roads during holiday weekends. This past weekend was no exception.

We should be thankful police were out as eight impaired driving charges were laid in 12 hours. That’s a whole lot of drunk drivers in a short window of time. It’s also a frightening reminder that no matter how many warnings motorists get, be they in newspapers, television commercials on social media or on the radio, too many of them opt to get behind the wheel of a car and drive drunk. It proves you can’t teach stupid.

Of the eight charges laid against these stupid people, four resulted from citizens reporting a suspected driver. They were the sensible ones, the ones who get that drinking and driving is against the law. The arrests occurred in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Clarington and Scugog Township.

Nobody died in Durham Region this past long weekend so we’re fortunate this time. But make no mistake, innocent people are killed by drunk drivers every year.

Across Canada, more than 90,000 impaired driving incidents are reported each year, according to Statistics Canada. Keep in mind those 90,000 incidents are reported. There are many more that go unreported.

Education campaigns are never-ending when it comes to drinking and driving. What’s needed now more than ever is increased penalties because currently those we have in place are not harsh enough. There are different convictions for first time, second time and third time offenders. A first-time offence conviction costs the motorist a measly $1,000. Raise that amount to $10,000 and revoke the driver’s licence completely. There should not be second- and third-time penalties for drunk drivers.

We can go on ad nauseam about the dangers of drinking and driving and yet people go out each and every day and drive drunk. Our members of Parliament, the women and men who make our laws, should finally get tough on this issue. Zero tolerance is the only way to go.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Clearly that’s the road our lawmakers have been travelling and it’s not working. There should be no second and third chances when it comes to drunk driving.

Source: Durham Region


 

Last updated on: 2017-06-17 | Link to this post