Drivers bump into things. That includes sober drivers. But here’s the difference: when sober drivers bump into something, they tend to stop. If the person behind the wheel keeps going after making contact with an object, chances are that driver is impaired.
Case in point: a man in Burlington, Ontario was observed by police hitting a curb a few times – an alarm bell for police, who rely on such indicators to spot drunk drivers.
The officers pulled the car over, only to discover a couple of unique features:
- There was no rubber on the passenger side wheel
- The airbag had been deployed
These are offences under the Highway Traffic Act, but not nearly as bad as the fact that the driver was drunk. Add to that the fact that he was 19, and you have some pretty serious charges.
The allowable BAC (blood alcohol concentration) limit for drivers under 21 in Ontario is zero. Penalties for a first offence include a 30-day licence suspension and a fine of up to $500. A second offence could result in a suspension for 90 days. A third offence could mean losing the licence altogether.
The point is, if you have been drinking, don’t think that you will be able to keep control and conceal your condition long enough to get home. You might not lose a tire and blow your airbag – though you might – but drunk drivers tend to reveal their intoxication in a variety of ways:
- Going too slow
- Veering into oncoming lane
- Signalling incorrectly
- Failing to proceed on a green light
- Driving with windows open in cold weather
There are other signs police use to catch drunk drivers too. So the only prudent course is to find a designated driver, taxi, or public transport.
Because even if the airbag doesn’t deploy, you’re bound to blow it eventually.