A deadly combination

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

The message is simple: don't drink and drive.

Period.

But every year, police report shocking numbers of offences committed on local roads involving people who choose to use alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car.

For instance, the Ontario Provincial Police report that during last year's Festive RIDE Initiative, officers stopped 450,582 vehicles at roadside checkpoints across the province and charged 294 drivers with Criminal Code alcohol-related offences. A total of 664 12-hour license suspensions were issued.

Officers also issued 315 of the 90-day Administrative Driver's License Suspensions.

For every 470 vehicles checked at OPP RIDE locations, one driver was either charged with an impaired driving-related charge or was issued a 12-hour license suspensions.

We think it doesn't help that, during the festive season, we are bombarded with mixed messages. Glossy catalogues are distributed by the LCBO, advertising liquor - and the supposed upscale lifestyle that goes along with it. TV spots aim to convince a target audience (usually twenty-something males) that if they go out and drink their favourite brand of beer, the women at the bar can't help but be attracted to them.

Throw in the fact that many people who, the rest of the year, imbibe very little and wouldn't dream of operating a vehicle under the influence, are making the holiday party circuit. A couple of drinks won't make a difference, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

One recent innovation, a "pocket breathalyzer" available at discount department stores, may be helping to further the illusion that there is a way to drink and still drive safely. The gadget, which is called "inaccurate and unreliable" on the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Canada web site, purports to indicate whether the user's blood alcohol level is acceptable for operating a vehicle. A disclaimer on the packaging, however, does not guarantee the accuracy of the device or that it will achieve results equivalent to those used by police, reports MADD.

While the clear message to the public should be to separate the activities of drinking alcohol and driving, devices such as the personal breathalyzer engage in a dangerous game.

And from a financial perspective, the money used on such an "investment" would be better spent on hiring a taxi for the ride home after a night out.

While there are legally deterrents to drinking and driving - suspension, court costs, ignition interlock devices - drivers must realize that there is no way to assess the true cost of impaired driving when it causes accidents, injury and death.

The message is simple: don't do it.

A deadly combination

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

The message is simple: don't drink and drive.

Period.

But every year, police report shocking numbers of offences committed on local roads involving people who choose to use alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car.

For instance, the Ontario Provincial Police report that during last year's Festive RIDE Initiative, officers stopped 450,582 vehicles at roadside checkpoints across the province and charged 294 drivers with Criminal Code alcohol-related offences. A total of 664 12-hour license suspensions were issued.

Officers also issued 315 of the 90-day Administrative Driver's License Suspensions.

For every 470 vehicles checked at OPP RIDE locations, one driver was either charged with an impaired driving-related charge or was issued a 12-hour license suspensions.

We think it doesn't help that, during the festive season, we are bombarded with mixed messages. Glossy catalogues are distributed by the LCBO, advertising liquor - and the supposed upscale lifestyle that goes along with it. TV spots aim to convince a target audience (usually twenty-something males) that if they go out and drink their favourite brand of beer, the women at the bar can't help but be attracted to them.

Throw in the fact that many people who, the rest of the year, imbibe very little and wouldn't dream of operating a vehicle under the influence, are making the holiday party circuit. A couple of drinks won't make a difference, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

One recent innovation, a "pocket breathalyzer" available at discount department stores, may be helping to further the illusion that there is a way to drink and still drive safely. The gadget, which is called "inaccurate and unreliable" on the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Canada web site, purports to indicate whether the user's blood alcohol level is acceptable for operating a vehicle. A disclaimer on the packaging, however, does not guarantee the accuracy of the device or that it will achieve results equivalent to those used by police, reports MADD.

While the clear message to the public should be to separate the activities of drinking alcohol and driving, devices such as the personal breathalyzer engage in a dangerous game.

And from a financial perspective, the money used on such an "investment" would be better spent on hiring a taxi for the ride home after a night out.

While there are legally deterrents to drinking and driving - suspension, court costs, ignition interlock devices - drivers must realize that there is no way to assess the true cost of impaired driving when it causes accidents, injury and death.

The message is simple: don't do it.

A deadly combination

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

The message is simple: don't drink and drive.

Period.

But every year, police report shocking numbers of offences committed on local roads involving people who choose to use alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car.

For instance, the Ontario Provincial Police report that during last year's Festive RIDE Initiative, officers stopped 450,582 vehicles at roadside checkpoints across the province and charged 294 drivers with Criminal Code alcohol-related offences. A total of 664 12-hour license suspensions were issued.

Officers also issued 315 of the 90-day Administrative Driver's License Suspensions.

For every 470 vehicles checked at OPP RIDE locations, one driver was either charged with an impaired driving-related charge or was issued a 12-hour license suspensions.

We think it doesn't help that, during the festive season, we are bombarded with mixed messages. Glossy catalogues are distributed by the LCBO, advertising liquor - and the supposed upscale lifestyle that goes along with it. TV spots aim to convince a target audience (usually twenty-something males) that if they go out and drink their favourite brand of beer, the women at the bar can't help but be attracted to them.

Throw in the fact that many people who, the rest of the year, imbibe very little and wouldn't dream of operating a vehicle under the influence, are making the holiday party circuit. A couple of drinks won't make a difference, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

One recent innovation, a "pocket breathalyzer" available at discount department stores, may be helping to further the illusion that there is a way to drink and still drive safely. The gadget, which is called "inaccurate and unreliable" on the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Canada web site, purports to indicate whether the user's blood alcohol level is acceptable for operating a vehicle. A disclaimer on the packaging, however, does not guarantee the accuracy of the device or that it will achieve results equivalent to those used by police, reports MADD.

While the clear message to the public should be to separate the activities of drinking alcohol and driving, devices such as the personal breathalyzer engage in a dangerous game.

And from a financial perspective, the money used on such an "investment" would be better spent on hiring a taxi for the ride home after a night out.

While there are legally deterrents to drinking and driving - suspension, court costs, ignition interlock devices - drivers must realize that there is no way to assess the true cost of impaired driving when it causes accidents, injury and death.

The message is simple: don't do it.