Drinking and driving is a huge mistake, and it’s a mistake that’s very hard to explain away or rationalize. Despite the statistics, law enforcement, and escalating penalties for impaired driving in Canada, people are still making the choice to get behind the wheel after drinking. The really unfortunate thing is that they are also choosing to drive impaired with their kids along for the ride, and just in the past few weeks there have been numerous news stories with parents driving impaired.
A woman near Hamilton, Ontario must have been getting dinner for her kids when she was going through the McDonalds drive-thru, but when staff suspected she was drunk they called in the police. When the police arrived, she arrested for impaired driving over 80 with her children still in the back seat of the vehicle.
It was quite the way to end the school year, but an Ontario school bus driver recently decided to get behind the wheel of his bus and drive impaired with several students on board. One of the teachers suspected he was impaired and reported it to the school, and the driver was stopped shortly after with all kids on board. When police arrived, he failed a breathalyzer test and has a court date to face impaired driving charges.
Thankfully the children along for the ride weren’t hurt, but given that alcohol can affect your coordination, vision, and reflexes, they easily could have been. Impaired driving is still the leading cause of road-related death in Ontario, and penalties like driver’s license suspensions and mandatory ignition interlocks are designed to stop everyone, especially parents, from making the choice to get behind the wheel drunk.
If you have to drive, especially when you have your children in the vehicle, make the choice to put their safety first and don’t get drink before you get behind the wheel.