Tis’ the season for holiday shopping, Christmas cookies, and… drinking and driving? One of these things shouldn’t fit with the other, but if you’re in Ontario it’s becoming par for the course for drunk drivers to be out on the roads every day, and the holidays are no exception.
The first weekend Ontario police officers (OPP) kicked off their annual holiday RIDE program they arrested 104 drunk drivers across the province. In the York region, where Marco Muzzo caused a drunk driving crash that killed three children and their grandfather last year, there were twenty impaired drivers arrested and one driver almost took out Santa and his sleigh.
It happened at the Auroa Santa Claus parade on Younge Street. Although there are road barriers set up to prevent cars from entering the area, one drunk driver with a car full of empty alcohol bottles decided to drive right past the barriers. Thankfully police stopped him before he could hit Santa, his Reindeer, and parade spectators, and when they did they found he was twice the legal limit of .08.
After the year Ontario has had for drunk drivers, it’s not surprising that someone made the decision to drink and drive straight onto a parade route. Although you would hope that the high profile Muzzo crash would have had a sobering effect on drivers in the province, it seems to have done the opposite. Since that time Ontario has been on an impaired driving high, and with the holidays here there’s no end in sight.
The only good news is that when police make an arrest in Ontario, they have a solid way of preventing that drunk driver from getting behind the wheel drunk again. In Ontario all offenders are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle, and no matter if they’re driving to work, school, or anywhere in between, they won’t be able to make the choice to drink and drive again.
Let’s hope that Ontario’s impaired driving high ends with 2016.