Imagine driving down a dark highway at night and seeing taillights swerving in the distance. You might think the driver could be having trouble with their car, so you get a little closer to try to figure out what’s going on. When you pull up in a lane next to the driver, you can immediately tell that the person is impaired. Maybe they’re swerving in their lane or crossing the line, or maybe you can see in their window and they look intoxicated – whatever the reason you believe them to be impaired, odds are you’ll pull over and call in to the police to report them.
Now imagine if that drinking driver was your parent, brother, sister, or child. In a case like that, even though you know it’s the right thing to do, it becomes a lot harder to pick up the phone. That’s the dilemma a young woman from Ontario recently came up against when she realized she had to call in her father for drunk driving. Robert Liverance was driving with an open beer and had another can of beer with him when he left his driveway. He was a frequent drunk driver, and his daughter Melissa was finally frustrated enough to pick up the phone and contact the police.
When police stopped him, he was weaving in his lane, had a strong smell of alcohol on him, and had to lean on his truck to stand up. Although he was prohibited from driving for a year, he may not be eligible to regain his license as a matter of public safety.
Calling in your friends or relatives when they drink and drive is the right thing to do, but there is a way to prevent them from drinking and driving before they even start their car or truck – ignition interlock devices can keep your loved ones and everyone on the road with them safe, and more and more people are voluntarily choosing to install an ignition interlock device when they are concerned relatives will drink and drive, if they are worried their teen may drive after a night out with friends, or are drivers themselves who are concerned they won’t be able to make the right choice after a night of drinking.
In the case of Robert Liverance, a voluntary ignition interlock would have prevented him from driving, and his daughter wouldn’t have been put in the position of having to report him for making the wrong choice.
If you see an impaired driving on the road or you know someone who has made the decision to drink and drive, even if it’s a family member or close friend, do the right thing and contact the police by calling 911. You may just save a life.