It must have seemed like Fright Night indeed: no less than seven impaired driving incidents were reported within two hours in Lethbridge, Alberta early Saturday morning. Nothing like this has happened in the city within living memory.
The good news that no one was killed, or even seriously injured. The only shock was the number and the time frame. What induced so many people in Lethbridge to make such a bad decision in such a short time?
- Friday night/Saturday morning. Weekend night are the worst in the week for drunk driving arrests, for obvious reasons.
- Wee hours. The hours between midnight and four a.m. see the most impaired driving arrests and collisions. That’s when all the alcohol has kicked in, and fatigue is also at a maximum.
- Halloween. Holidays are notorious for bringing out extra drunk drivers.
- Plain old chance. Statisticians will tell you for any human activity that is measured, some years will see a spike, and others will see what is called a regression to the mean. That means that next year things should cool off and the Lethbridge police won’t be quite that busy during the same hours (we hope).
Still, the incidents, which include a rollover, are no joke – drunk driving never is. Each year this crime claims over a thousand Canadian lives. Even if this surprising spate of DUI incidents is a statistical anomaly, it’s a potentially lethal one, and the citizens of Lethbridge are lucky that the outcome was not worse.