Lakeshore, Ontario was the scene of a hit-and-run crash a while back. Injuries were minor, but if the officer asked the victim, “Did you get the license plate?” then he might have said, “Indeed so.” For the offending car’s bumper – complete with license plate – was lying in the road.
Officers were able to track the driver from the licence plate. Presumably the lack of a bumper would have been another clue. The Ontario DUI included three charges:
- Care or control while impaired
- Care or control while over 80 milligrams blood alcohol content
- Failure to stop at the scene of an accident
Some terminology: “care or control” is a much wider term than “driving.” It’s what you’re exercising when you do anything in a car that might set it in motion. So sitting in a parked car on a hill, within reach of the emergency brake, would be against the law if you were impaired. So would sleeping in a car while drunk.
Take note too that there are separate charges for being impaired and driving with a BAC of over .08. Even if your blood alcohol is lower than .08 – it might be zero if you’ve taken a different drug – if you’re too impaired to drive you can be charged. And even if you’re handling the car well, if your blood alcohol is over .08 you’re in violation of the law.
Why did the driver keep on going after losing a bumper? Possibly he didn’t realize that he’d lost the bumper. Possibly he thought he could get away with it anyway. Neither reason stands up, and either one shows how compromised his judgment was.
As we’ve said before, alcohol not only robs you of the ability to drive, it robs you of your ability to realize that you can’t drive. It’s a dangerous combination, and if while doing it you lose only your licence plate, you’re one of the lucky ones.