New realities of drinking, driving

The message is getting out that impaired driving is taboo

Count drinking and driving as another element of the 20th century’s car culture that’s been left behind in the 21st century.

Earlier this week the province made the obvious decision to keep tough rules introduced 10 months ago that have worked to curb the carnage caused by intoxicated drivers.

Across B.C., there have been 30 deaths in a seven month period that averaged 61 fatalities in each of the previous five years.

This is more than enough evidence to keep the laws as they are — there had been talk of easing the rules after bars and restaurants complained the laws were too harsh and hurt business. However, while this has been somewhat true, there has also been an evolution in how people think about their drink.

Whether switching from boozy beverages to mocktails or planning an alternative way to get home, the general public appears to have adapted to the new reality.

Part of this can be attributed to fear of getting caught, but hopefully it also signals a sea change in society. Younger generations have grown up being told about the dangers of drunk driving and their education has rubbed off on older citizens.

The glory days of gas guzzlers are long gone and city planners are more and more looking at ways to keep people out of their vehicles. Driving and drinking, once far too common, is also a relic of an past era. Taxis, bus service and even courtesy rides from good Samaratin organizations are now readily available for people who want to go out for a drink and get home without driving.

The message is clear: There are options to avoid hitting the road hammered. The law works and it’s time for all B.C. drivers to work with it.

– Black Press

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