A man in Abbotsford, British Columbia decided to make things easy for the police department recently.
After a night of drinking, he got in his car and started driving home. At some point he got spooked, pulled over his car, jumped into an idling taxi, and uttered these priceless words:
“Get me outta here buddy, cops are everywhere tonight.”
Indeed they were. In fact, he was sitting in an idling police car, not a taxi. In fairness, they probably look similar at night, especially through bleary eyes.
Let’s quickly go over what was wrong here:
- The man was drinking without a designated driver or, presumably, a plan to get home.
- He got behind the wheel while drunk.
- He stopped driving only because he saw that cops were out.
Had he pulled over because he suddenly realized that he was too impaired to drive, perhaps we would cut the driver some slack. But as it is, he was in wrong place at the wrong time — twice in one night: the driver’s seat, and then back seat of an Abbotsford Police cruiser.
Much as one would like to credit the police for taking a drunk driver off the roads, this capture was about as difficult as setting out a Roach Motel.
There was a time, we all know, when drunk driving was dismissed as a bit of mischief that was tolerated as long as no one got hurt. Gradually, opinions changed, thanks to the efforts of police and safety organizations.
Still, the elimination of drunk driving doesn’t happen all at once – Canada’s road death and injury statistics are proof of that. The change to a safer driving culture is a process of evolution. Some people understand right away that drunk driving is reckless and potentially lethal. Others don’t get it, but they refrain because they might get arrested. And others ignore the prohibition altogether.
Our Abbotsford friend is a good example of why we need drunk driving laws, ignition interlock programs, impaired driving education, and constant police vigilance.
And if an offender happens to arrest himself from time to time, so much the better.