It’s customary for police departments to report drunk driving figures over holiday weekends. Colchester RCMP announced that Easter weekend provided a particularly good catch of impaired drivers. Not only that, but it appears that all ages drive drunk in that county. Among the arrests made in Bible Hill and Millbrook were:
- Two 21-year-old men
- A 34-year-old man
- A 39-year-old man
- A 43-year-old woman
- A 75-year-old man
Holidays bring out more drunk drivers: family and friends gather, people have time off work, and soon the beer and wine are flowing. RCMP are well aware of that, and they send out more patrols to catch drunk drivers before they cause harm.
And they’re catching impaired drivers of all ages. In 2011 Statistics Canada published an important survey of impaired driving in the country. One fact – not a surprising one, as it’s echoed in stats around the world – is that impaired drivers skew young. The greatest number are in the 20-to-34-year-old group.
They also skew male, though women drive drunk too. The report stated that “in Ontario, males were nine times more likely than females to report they had driven a vehicle within an hour of consuming two or more alcoholic drinks.” Since the report, Statistics Canada has reported that a greater proportion of women are driving drunk, though impaired driving is down as a whole.
While the Colchester catch doesn’t quite mirror the national averages, a wider sampling would. What makes this particular group important is that it underscores that drunk drivers can be any age, and they are both male and female. Neither bad decisions nor alcohol problems are confined to one particular group.
Since all ages drive drunk, a response must be appropriate for any age, and also either sex. Ignition interlocks – devices which prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking – are designed to keep impaired drivers from reoffending without regard to their demographics. They are what every province needs to increase road safety: equal-opportunity impaired driving protection devices.