Most people who plan nights out with friends on a regular basis appoint a sober driver before they go out. Usually it’s something that friends or family will take turns at, and the sober driver understands that it’s his or her responsibility to drink soda or water so that the entire group gets home safe.
That’s not what happened in Prince Edward Island recently. A 28-year-old man was appointed the sober driver for his group of friends, and when he was stopped by police for driving 140km/hr in a 90 km/hr zone, he spoke up and identified himself as the designated driver.
Unfortunately for him, he’d clearly been drinking too, and when police asked him to submit to a breathalyzer test, he did so and failed. Now he faces charges of impaired driving and driving over the legal limit.
It’s a small province, but Prince Edward Island has big impaired driving penalties. They’re one of the few provinces who require jail time for first offenders, and the sober driver in this case could see jail time for 3 days if it’s his first offense. If it was his second offense, he could see up to 30 days in jail.
For a first offense in PEI, the driver will see a one-year drivers license suspension, a minimum of 3 days in prison, $1200 in fines, and a mandatory Driver Rehabilitation Course. The driver will also have to enrol for one year in PEI’s ignition interlock program, and he’ll be required to cover the cost of his interlock too.
His intentions may have been good when he accepted the position of sober driver for his evening out, but sober drivers aren’t supposed to drink at all. The group is lucky that the only inconvenience they suffered was having to find another way home, because drunk driving ends in tragedy all too often.