Wednesday April 23, 2014

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Impaired message still lost

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Some people are still not getting the message when it comes to drinking and driving.

It seems pretty simple, but some people are choosing to put not only their own lives at risk, but other lives as well.

The Christmas Counterattack campaign was launched last week throughout the province, and last weekend, Sunshine Coast RCMP were very busy taking several alleged impaired drivers off Coast roadways.

A four-vehicle collision in Gibsons yielded two impaired drivers, and in another mind-boggling incident, a mother was arrested for alleged impaired driving with a toddler in her vehicle. This is the second time a parent has been arrested by local police for alleged impaired driving with a young child in their vehicle. The first time was earlier this year.

In all the cases last weekend, the drivers who were pulled over registered alcohol readings way above the legal limit. They were issued fines and driving suspensions, had their vehicles towed and impounded and will be heading to provincial court in early January to face the charges. In the case of the toddler, the womanís mother came to the scene and picked up the child. Ministry of Children and Families was contacted, and who knows where this case will lead. Itís a very sad situation, and one that could have easily been avoided.

Why do people think it is OK to have a few drinks then get behind the wheel? We all like to party, have fun, socialize with friends ó especially at this time of the year with parties aplenty. But there are clear and easy choices to be made ó park the car and leave the keys, get a ride home with a friend, take public transit or call a cab.

And itís happening not just here on the Sunshine Coast.

Last weekend in Abbotsford, while police were conducting a road check, a vehicle, driving in excess of 100 km/h, slammed into a parked vehicle carrying several passengers. Luckily, no one was hurt and the driver of the speeding vehicle is facing numerous charges.

On Saturday, the National Football League was rocked when Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent flipped his car, allegedly while impaired, killing friend and teammate Jerry Brown in the process. Heís been charged with intoxication manslaughter. Itís the second time heís been charged with impaired driving. This is a pro athlete who had the financial means to get a safe ride home, but he made a choice ó a bad choice that ended up in the death of someone else.

Many of us in society have to start making better choices.

Letís enjoy the holiday season with friends and family. Please donít drink and drive.

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