When you’re charged with impaired driving, you’ll follow a certain legal process. It begins with your arrest at a checkpoint or when you’re pulled over by police, continues when you receive your immediate roadside suspension and have your vehicle towed, and keeps going when you’re given a court summons and asked to appear in front of a judge to answer the charge of impaired driving.
Those are just the legal issues you’ll have you’re charged with impaired driving. As one Port Moody, British Columbia man learnt, the emotional issues can be worse. Take Dave McCloskey for example: he was pulled over on Christmas Eve 2006 at 3:30 am. Because he had stopped drinking at 1 am and had a short nap in his vehicle, he thought he’d be OK to drive home.
While driving home at 30km/hr, police pulled him over and charged him with impaired driving. Although British Columbia impaired driving laws were less strict back in 2006, he estimates that the legal fees and fines cost him approximately $8,000. The charge made a huge dent in his wallet, but it also changed his perspective. Now he feels grateful that there was no crash involved and he’s turned his life around because of the conviction. It could have been much worse.
Dave had to go through the entire process of being charged with impaired driving to understand what so many drinking drivers don’t: that one selfish decision can have a huge impact on your life or the life of someone else. He’s now spreading his message to others via Operation Red Nose every year.
There are a few things you can take away from Dave’s story: driving after drinking is a deliberate choice, and getting stopped by the police and charged with impaired driving after you’ve been drinking and driving isn’t bad luck, it’s a result of your decision. Maybe the next time you’re weighing the pros and cons of drinking and driving, you’ll think of Dave and call a sober driver.