Why do so many drunk drivers continue to get behind the wheel time and time again? If they have an ignition interlock in their vehicle, why do they try to get someone to blow into it to start their car for them? Although there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions, the long and short of it is that drunk drivers are determined drivers.
How determined are they? Take a look at the case of a Peel, Ontario Regional Police officer. He was arrested for drunk driving in September of 2015 when he was driving and encountered two police officers. One of the officers stopped his truck and placed him under arrest because he smelt of alcohol. When he submitted to a breathalyzer test his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .12 and .14.
He was found guilty of his drunk driving charge and was fined $1,000 and banned from driving for one year. But that ban didn’t stop him from trying to drive, and he was caught when a detective watched him trying to put his child in the vehicle with the engine running. He’s since been demoted.
This officer is a good example of how determined a drunk driver can be. Although he already had a driving ban and he, as a police officer, knew the law when it comes to drinking and driving and how the penalty system works, he decided to try to drive anyway.
The only way to truly stop a drunk driver when they are determined to drive is an ignition interlock. With an ignition interlock installed in the vehicle, this officer and any other drunk driving offender would have to blow and prove there was no alcohol in his system before he could start the car.
The other benefit of an ignition interlock is that you can keep driving. There’s no delay or limited driver’s license suspension in most cases, and if you qualify for the program you can keep driving your family to and from school or go to work as you normally would.
Attitudes toward drunk driving need to change in Ontario, and at least the province has an ignition interlock program to stop people like this police officer, someone so determined to drive after a drunk driving conviction that he ignored his penalties. If everyone in Ontario was like that, the province would have a bigger problem with impaired driving than it already does.