Sometimes the best saints are indeed reformed sinners. In particular, the best advocates for sober driving are those who have been caught, punished, and have come to realize the dangers of what they did. Don McMorris, a Saskatchewan legislator who was arrested for drunk driving last August, has become an advocate for ignition interlock devices as a way to – his words – eliminate impaired driving in his home province. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.
McMorris, the Indian Head-Milestone MLA, spoke to reporters after his reinstatement, pressing for an expansion of the province’s ignition interlock program. After his arrests, McMorris participated in the program, which required him to use the device in his vehicle. He notes that the program does more than just prevent your vehicle from starting if you have been drinking – it makes you “look at your lifestyle.” The CBC video makes his enthusiasm for the device clear.
Video: CBC News
Don McMorris’s experience on both sides of the drunk driving legislative system – as an offender and as a lawmaker – gives him an invaluable perspective, one that other legislators should take heed of. The problem of drunk driving goes beyond Saskatechewan – it is a Canadian problem, and a human one, and when solutions are found, they should be applied everywhere they can help.
It’s clear to McMorris that ignition interlocks helped him, and can help many DUI offenders take stock of their lives and change their attitude to drinking and driving. All of Canada should listen to what he has to say: ignition interlocks save lives and also change lives. All provinces should mandate the devices for every drunk driving offense.