Drinking and driving

When it comes to drinking and driving, people all around the world ask the question: “What’s the harm?”

They rationalize the decision by saying “I got home safely.” Or “No one was hurt.” But just because something didn’t go wrong doesn’t mean it was a safe or responsible decision. If you choose to get in your car and drive away after drinking, you choose to endanger your life and the lives of the people in your path.

Alcohol changes the way your brain handles judgements, depth-perception, and reaction time. If you’re driving drunk and you think you’re driving normally, you’re wrong. If a police officer catches you they will charge you with a DUI/DWI, and that’s a best-case scenario. Worst case, you’ll get in an accident and lose your life, or cost someone else theirs.

In Canada, impaired driving is the leading cause of criminal death. Is it ever worth it? Never.

Take a cab, get a friend to drive you, or find an alternate way home. Don’t become another drinking and driving statistic. It’s hard enough to navigate traffic while sober. Don’t put people in danger by adding alcohol or other intoxicants to the mix. Make the smart decision and put your keys away.

Legal ramifications of drinking and driving

You’ve just been pulled over, you reek of alcohol. Your speech is slurred and you’re exhibiting other signs of intoxication. The officer walks up to your window; you’ve been pulled over for suspicious driving. Given your current state, the officer asks you to exit your vehicle and move to the side of the road to perform a sobriety test. They test your motor skills and your judgement abilities. If you fail this test they will request you participate in a Blood Alcohol Test (BAC).

In Canada, the legal limit for blood alcohol is 0.08; anything above that is a criminal offence. Failing the BAC test will result in a criminal charge.

Depending on where you are, you will be charged with impaired driving, often referred to by one of the terms below:

  • DWI: Driving while Intoxicated
  • DWAI: Driving while Ability Impaired
  • OWI: Operating while Impaired
  • DUI: Driving Under the Influence

Repercussions of a guilty verdict on an impaired driving charge vary depending on your province or territory. However, no matter where you are, you will be given a large fine or jail time. Drinking and driving is a serious offence.

Choose not to drink and drive

Compared to most other criminal offences, an impaired driving charge is more likely to come out with a guilty charge. 4 out of 5 in 2011 resulted in a guilty verdict. Impaired driving cases were at an all-time low in 2006, but have since increased – most rapidly in Newfoundland and Labrador & British Columbia.

Drinking a driving is still a problem all over our country, and it is so avoidable! Make the better choice, don’t get behind the wheel while intoxicated. There is always another way home.

Keep our roads, loved ones, and yourself safe.

Don’t drink and drive.