With all of the public service announcements (PSAs), road side check points, and social media sharing, you’d think that the people fighting back against drunk driving in Canada would be winning the battle and seeing a real decrease in alcohol-related crashes and drunk driving arrests. But that doesn’t seem to be the case in Nova Scotia, and now three more families are learning what happens when someone makes the choice to drink and drive.
On October 18th, a vehicle left the road and crashed with four people inside of it. Although the driver lived, two of the occupants of the vehicle passed away and alcohol is believed to be a factor in the single vehicle crash. Only a week later, a man from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia was killed when the car he was in crashed on a highway. Although the driver only sustained minor injuries, the passenger died in the vehicle and had to be extracted by police.
These crashes are occurring despite stiff penalties for impaired driving in Nova Scotia. Even a first offense will net you a one year drivers license suspension, up to $2,000 in fines, a mandatory assessment by Addiction services, and the possibility of a one year enrollment in Nova Scotia’s ignition interlock program. You may even need to re-take your driving tests.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) weighed in on the recent crashes and expressed anger and disappointment that things aren’t changing in Nova Scotia. In a recent blog post on the Nova Scotia chapter’s website, MADD’s national president said she ‘wished we could go out of business,’ but people continue to get behind the wheel while drunk.
When drunk driving is the reason behind a fatal crash, you can’t write it off as bad luck. It’s a choice to get behind the wheel and drive after you’ve had a few drinks, and as we can see from these crashes, that choice can lead the death of others in an instant.