Charlotte MacAulay

“Considering the incidents of drinking and driving in the province which continue at a high rate ...”

This quote is heard time and again in Provincial Court when Chief Justice Nancy Orr hands down sentences for impaired driving related charges.

It is uttered far too often and that’s a shame.

Last week alone 10 people faced charges related to drunk driving.

When individuals get behind the wheel of a vehicle they are responsible for themselves along with everyone they meet on the road.

Too many people are of the mindset they have all their wits about them even after a couple of drinks.

Well guess what? Alcohol impairs.

And then there are the massive number of repeat offenders.

There were only two people in court last week who didn’t already have a drunk driving conviction under their belt- they were in their teens.

It seems obvious individuals are most upset because of the fact they got caught.

What they really need to do is realize they never should have driven in the first place.

A couple of drinks or 10 and you are no longer in complete control of your faculties so leave the driving to someone else or stay put.

Charlotte MacAulay

(1) comment

Leviticus

People who grow up on islands often become (no surprise)... insular! Islanders are no different in that they really don't believe that having a few drinks then getting behind the wheel of their cars is a crime. People in Toronto and Montreal hesitate before doing this because the police are more vigilant and getting away with it is not so easy. The fines off the island are high and how your friends and colleagues react to your being convicted of zipping along in your chrome bedecked Tundra with eight beers in you is a LOT different than how it is here. Go sit in the Georgetown Courthouse as the judge sentences one drunk driver after another and yes, the reaction is generally dismay - not guilt or shame - at having to pay the fine or deal with the suspension of a licence. Maybe it's the Catholicism at the heart of island culture that was having those people I watched being sentenced saying versions of "OK, I'm sorry, alright?' and by implication, 'I'm sorry so why I am being punished?'. But the rate of collisions and fatalities as the result of DUI in this small population is completely out of whack. Too bad the Amish ignore the events of the communities they choose to live in because they might have thought twice about driving their buggies around in a place where drinking and driving is acceptable to so many. And not to forget, now add being stoned and driving. Or both!

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