Most of the efforts against drunk driving centre around the death and injury that it causes. In Canada, that’s considerable. In fact, the percentage of road fatalities in Canada which are alcohol-related is the highest among the developed countries of the world. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that 34 percent – a full third – of road deaths involved impairment.
What’s not often understood is how much pain is caused by impaired driving property damage and loss well. Drunk drivers don’t just hit people – they hit parked cars, buildings, houses, and other structures. Recently a drunk driver managed to wipe out an entire business.
A franchise of the fast-food chain La Belle Province in Laval was wrecked in the middle of the night by a driver who was, according to news reports, impaired.
The owner saw the restaurant, into which he’d put all his savings, severely damaged – possibly irreparably.
Fortunately the restaurant is insured. But anyone who has had a business or home damaged knows how much heartache it causes, and how much hard work it will take just to get back to where things were before the crash.
The cost of impaired driving goes beyond the things that are smashed when the car hits. Police and ambulance services cost money, and incidents like this also affect the cost of insurance for everyone. Other effects, such as stress and worry, can’t be quantified, but are nonetheless real.
The main reason to fight drunk driving is to save life and protect citizens against injury. But impaired driving property damage can threaten people’s livelihoods as well.