Drinking and Driving. Regardless of how much alcohol you intake, it is wrong!
You may already be aware that drinking and driving is dangerous, but do you understand why? Alcohol consumption affects those skills needed for safe driving, such as concentration, making sound decisions, and quickly reacting to circumstances.
On May 1st, 2021, an Ontario driver almost caused two accidents. This was reported by a caller who was at the area when this happened. He pulled up next to the car to see that there was a boy who revealed he was 12, driving the car and his dad who looked visibly drunk to the caller’s eyes was in the passenger seat. However, after two cars honked, the father took over the wheel and started swerving and breaking recklessly. After this was reported by the caller, York regional police arrived at the scene and tested the father to see if he was intoxicated. As a result, the father was under arrest for impairment as well as child endangerment.
This is just a recent sighting in Toronto, however that caller was just one of almost 3500 people who call yearly to report an impaired driving. Something positive to be taken from this is that callers like the one who reported the 12 year old boy who was driving may have prevented serious crashes.
There are plenty more amusing situations about drinking and driving within Ontario. In October of 2018, a 27-year-old Ontario woman who previously killed a cyclist in a drunk-driving accident in 2015 was given complete parole with the additional requirements of avoiding drinking establishments and not consuming alcohol. However, the car was seen “failing to control steady pace, and nearly striking other vehicles” according to authorities, on June 21st, 2019. The board then suspended her full parole in December.
This is simply put, unacceptable. In Canada, the most recent report on impaired driving in 2015 said that one in six people are repeat offenders which means they are breaking the law not once, but multiple times even after being punished. I can only imagine that number has increased since. Being selfish and careless through intoxicated driving can lead to the loss of yours and others lives. Drinking and driving is not done by accident.
On the weekend of December 5, 2020, there were 22 arrests and 10 three-day suspensions for people under the influence. It’s incredible because, for one, 22 arrests? That’s not just 22 arrests on any given day. It’s during the provincial lockdown, so people shouldn’t be out to begin with, let alone out drinking and driving. While it was assumed that with some GTA bars closing and gatherings cancelled due to COVID-19, the number of people drinking and driving will decrease, figures suggest that alcohol sales skyrocketed during the lockdown.
It’s hard for me to even process and comprehend this crisis. Drinking is dangerous to your own life, which is already concerning, but drinking and driving is dangerous to your life as well as others. Please, just think twice before you drink and drive. Do you want to put others’ lives at risk? Would you be okay if someone was drinking and driving and someone you know was affected by it? My answer to that is no. What is yours?
If you witness someone drinking and driving, please report to the police as when it comes to this, they need all our help. They truly are doing the best they can, but are we? If you want change in your community, then take charge and be the change in your community!
You might live under the impression that drinking and driving is harmful, but you can’t control other people and their opinion towards it. However, that doesn’t mean you should just let those who drink and drive continue to do it.
What we can do to make change when it is first and foremost safe and you are allowed to have gatherings, is to plan alcohol-free gatherings, or if you’re the host of a gathering, offer nonalcoholic beverages and make sure every one of your guests has a safe ride home and make sure to not drink yourself. When you are under the influence, you fail to make wise decisions, so if you’re going out with your friends or by yourself, make sure to have a designated driver ready beforehand who will not drink so you will arrive home safe and sound. We can even make change by just taking the keys away from someone who is under the influence and booking them a cab or even offering them a room to stay at your home, for the night.
I have experienced an accident myself that happened because of someone who chose to drink and drive. My family was driving home after grabbing groceries and as we made a turn on our street, a man who was under the influence of alcohol was driving over the speed limit. Fortunately, nothing happened to me and my family physically, but we were all more scared than we have ever been that day. You could even say it’s traumatizing not only because of the speed or the driver’s reckless driving, but because of his careless attitude. He acted as if he didn’t just do what he did, which was crash into my car at an unimaginable speed causing damage to the car and to us, emotionally.
I was always anti-drinking, let alone drinking and driving and that experience made me hate it more than I ever have before. However, I take my past as a learning experience and am inspired by it. From that day on, I do anything that I can to make changes so that no one has to experience something even remotely similar to that and here I am now, hopefully making a difference.
If you see someone who is drinking and driving, do your part! Call 9-1-1 immediately. It’s quite simple. Don’t be a part of the problem, but rather the solution!
If you know someone who has an alcohol addiction and you want to help them, contact the Addiction, Mental Health, and Problem Gambling services (Connexontario) helpline at, 1-866-531-2600.
Drinking and Driving Stupidity Continues.” torontosun.com/news/local-news/drinking-and-driving-stupidity-continues.
“Father Arrested for Drunk Driving after Allegedly Making 12-Year-Old Son Take the Wheel.” toronto.citynews.ca/2021/05/21/father-arrested-for-drunk-driving-after-allegedly-making-12-year-old-son-take-the-wheel/.
“Drinking and Driving: A Serious and Deadly Crime.” www.alcoholrehabguide.org/alcohol/crimes/dui/.
“Ontario Woman Caught Drunk Driving Years after Killing Cyclist Has Parole Revoked.” toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-woman-caught-drunk-driving-years-after-killing-cyclist-has-parole-revoked-1.5221791.
“Drinking and Driving: Understanding the Risks.” www.psycom.net/drinking-and-driving.
“Impaired Driving In Ontario.” www.thinkinsure.ca/insurance-help-centre/impaired-driving-in-ontario.html.