New Brunswick’s Traffic Services Unit are none too happy with the increasing number of DUI arrests in their province. 523 people have been charged with impaired driving so far this year. And while that’s a slight improvement over last year, one has to consider that last year saw a 35 per cent rise in drunk driving arrests.
Not everyone is discouraged by the larger numbers. Mothers Against Drunk Driving contend that more people being charged with DUI means more drunk drivers are being caught. They estimate that half of New Brunswick’s DUI charges are from anonymous calls. People are more willing than ever to turn in impaired drivers to get them off the road. Part of this is certainly due to MADD’s own efforts in educating the public.
Whether these higher DUI statistics are the result of more drinking or more civic vigilance, the fact is, 523 drunk drivers are too many. Each of them presented a danger to other people on the streets and highways of New Brunswick. The province’s Traffic Services Unit are wise to encourage people to come forward to report impaired drivers. Other measures that could help would be public awareness campaigns, such as the ones MADD are doing, and more comprehensive ignition interlock laws to make sure that offenders do not repeat their crime.