EDITORIAL: Drunk drivers not clueing in

NANAIMO – Numbers of fatalities in impaired driving incidents unacceptable.

The Insurance Corporation of B.C. reports that on average, 113 people died each year in impaired driving incidents between 2007-11.

That is unacceptable. In fact, any number other than zero is unacceptable.

Despite efforts from ICBC, the provincial government, police services, the media and organizations such as Operation Red Nose, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and Rid Roads of Impaired Drivers, some drivers remain undeterred and choose to drink and then get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

It’s not from a lack of trying.

B.C.’s CounterAttack program is in its 35th year with the December campaign underway. The province’s tougher roadside penalties on drinking and driving are responsible for a drop in alcohol-related crashes and are estimated to have saved 104 lives since September 2010.

Yet, some drivers still operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, believing nothing can happen to them or that they won’t get caught.

At best, they have a fender-bender with minor property damage. At worst, they kill themselves or an innocent person. Either way, the cost is too high and it’s up to society to put a stop to it.

Sadly, there was a time when impaired driving was shrugged off as just one of those things – the antics of a drunk driver laughed at.

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from that. The odds are getting better that if you drink and drive, you will get caught.

Use Operation Red Nose, use a taxi, use a bus – in other words, use common sense.

Too many people are dying from others making poor decisions. It could be you or it could be someone you love.

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