In Canada, the fight against drunk driving has been going on for decades. Although there were provincial anti-drinking and driving groups in the early 1980’s, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada was formed in 1989 with the goal of supporting victims and educating the public on the dangers of impaired driving.
Part of that education has come in the form of public service announcements (PSAs). Some are about the victims, designed to shock people into realizing the all too painful consequences of drinking and driving, while others are simple, straightforward, and so easy to grasp they stick with you long after you’ve seen them. That was the intention of the original Glasses PSA by MADD, and now they’ve come out with a rewound version to remind you about how these types of tragedies begin.
Almost everyone who has ever driven has asked him or herself whether or not they were driving behind a drunk driver. The tell-tale signs are hard to miss, and even harder to excuse if they’re happening right in front of you:
- Swerving in and out of lanes
- Frequently slamming on brakes
- Almost hitting another car or object
- Slowing down or speeding up erratically
- Coming to a complete stop in the middle of the road
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
Even if you’re not 100% sure the person on the road is impaired, the best decision you can make is to ask your passenger to call or pull over safely and contact the local RCMP to report the driver. Make note of the exact location on the road if possible and provide as many details as you can so the officers on patrol will be able to easily spot the driver.
Depending on the province you are in, if the driver is arrested for impaired driving or driving in the warn range of .05 to .08, they’ll receive an immediate license suspension, may have their vehicle impounded, and could receive penalties including jail time and an interlock device.
Everyone needs to do their part to keep drunk drivers off the road, and like the PSA shows, calling in a suspected impaired driver can stop a tragedy before it happens.