If you’re religious, this Easter was a day of great significance. If you’re not, it was a version of the spring festival found in many cultures around the world, with symbols of regeneration (eggs, new clothes) as the dominant theme. It was also a chance to figure out which detergent would get egg dye out of your clothes.
But a time to get drunk? And drive? Easter? We just don’t get it.
Yet 94 people were caught doing just that over Easter weekend. And that’s just Ontario. And that’s just the Easter DUI offenders who were caught: there were probably ten times that many impaired drivers on the roads.
St. Patricks’ Day we understand. Even though it’s not an excuse to drink and drive – nothing is – it is a celebration of a country known for excellent beer and whisky. And the holiday season is a time when friends and family gather. Again, the driving should be sober, but we understand why people like to raise a glass and toast their friends present and absent.
Labour Day is a long weekend, which means barbecues and beach getaways. Beers get tossed down. And if you’re smart you sober up before driving home Monday night. The same with August Long Weekend.
But why an Easter DUI? Eggs aren’t alcohol-based. Perhaps it’s because Good Friday is the first statutory holiday after the New Year, so it’s been a long, thirsty time between breaks. And some people will use any excuse to drink.
Which still doesn’t answer the question why 94 people were nabbed for impaired driving over the weekend. The sad fact is, those people drove drunk for these reasons:
- They didn’t know how impaired they were. Too many people think it’s okay to drive with a slight buzz. Buzzed driving is drunk driving, and that buzz is probably enough to get you arrested. It’s certainly more than enough to make you dangerous on the road, whether you think you are or not.
- They thought it didn’t matter because it’s only a short drive. A lot of alcohol-related crashes happen on short drives on familiar roads. Impaired driving is impaired driving, and the length of the journey is irrelevant.
- They thought they had no other choice. People’s imaginations go slack when they’re impaired. They forget about rideshare services, designated drivers, staying at a friend’s house, taxis, and public transport.
There’s always a choice, and the best time to make it is before you start drinking. Whether you’re celebrating Easter or Vimy Ridge Day, designate a sober driver before you raise that first glass.