Editorial: Spate of impaired drivers in Cowichan disquieting

People cannot claim ignorance.

Six potential tragedies. It’s disquieting that North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP stopped six impaired drivers no our Cowichan Valley roads in just 24 hours last weekend.

It’s great, of course, that police were alert and got these moving hazards off the road, but that it was necessary is disturbing. One has to consider how many impaired drivers were simply on roads where the RCMP were not, if six people were caught. It appears this wasn’t even a specific blitz.

Everyone knows that they are not allowed to drive drunk or otherwise impaired. People cannot claim ignorance. So why are people continuing to roll the dice and do it?

The drivers were issued immediate roadside prohibitions on driving for periods of three to 90 days. And this is the best case scenario for them. They were caught before they could injure or kill either themselves or someone else. No, that’s not an exaggeration. Sixty-eight people die in crashes involving impaired drivers every year in this province alone. That statistic doesn’t even take into account the life-ruining effects that serious injuries can inflict on people, and the jail time and other penalties that could be facing perpetrators. All too often, it seems, it’s the other driver in the crash that pays the biggest price.

So if you’ve had a few and you’re not sure if you would pass that breathalyzer, don’t take the chance. It’s worth whatever hassle or expense it will take to arrange for another ride. Or just waiting a few hours until you know you’re sober enough to get behind the wheel. If you’ve made it home impaired before, know that you’ve been lucky, not good. And luck can easily run out.

And while alcohol is still a big culprit, know that you shouldn’t be driving if you’ve been taking drugs either. That includes our recently legalized marijuana. If you know you’re going to be driving, don’t partake. If you do, you are not sober. We bet you really don’t know how long it will take for the cannabis to leave your system.

Make good choices, not bad ones.

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