News Views: Impaired judgement

Message needs to be repeated constantly, stay off the bottle if behind the wheel

Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent flipped his car Saturday, killing his friend and teammate Jerry Brown.

Brent has since been charged with intoxication manslaughter.

A woman suspected of driving drunk was charged last week in connection with a crash that killed a Maple Ridge father earlier this year.

Christine Anne Marchand faces one count each of impaired driving causing death, causing an accident resulting in death, and dangerous driving causing death.

And RCMP in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows nabbed 10 drunk drivers on the first weekend in December.

You’d think with tougher drinking and driving laws in B.C., drivers would get the message.

You’d think with the Counterattack program out in full force, because of all the holiday parties, they’d be a little more careful.

You’d think with programs like Operation Red Nose in full swing, they’d take advantage of the free service. Volunteers even drive your car home.

But no.

Some still rather risk incarceration, or having their car towed and having to pay heavy fines, having their licences suspended – risking not only their own lives but those of others on the roads – than drink a little less, or call a cab, or a sober friend.

Why?

Is their judgement that impaired?

In 1976, the year before CounterAttack road checks started, more than 300 people a year in B.C. were killed in impaired driving crashes.

While attitudes towards drinking and driving have since changed, impaired driving remains the second leading cause of car crash fatalities in the province.

Of  all fatal crashes in B.C. each year, 31 per cent involve impaired driving.

Such tragedies can be prevented.

If you are drinking, don’t drive.

– The News

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