Partying post-pandemic? Don’t drink and drive

Editorials Opinions

Victoria police ran out of tow-trucks at a check stop 

drinking and driving stock image
Photo by Steve Buissinne via Pixabay

Over the August long weekend, the VicPD says they stopped 24 suspected impaired drivers at roadblocks. They actually ran out of tow-trucks to impound the number of vehicles they had stopped. The police also issued 42 tickets for violations to the Motor Vehicle Act. 

The pandemic caged us in our houses for a year and we reminisced of magical late nights downtown while sitting on our couches every weekend flipping through TikToks. Now that vaccines have gone into arms and restrictions are being lifted, it’s time to hit the streets and bars of downtown once more. As we start getting back into late night celebrations with friends, or Saturday beers at Sticky, let’s carry over the same level of community respect and cautiousness we had during COVD-19 to getting home safe. 

In the same way that wearing a mask and sanitizing your hands made the whole community safer during the pandemic, making sure you have a way home after a night out ensures the safety of yourself and others. When you drive impaired you not only risk the wellbeing of yourself and the others in your vehicle, but also other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians out on the road. While driving impaired might seem like a vice that hurts no one, the same logic that applied to the pandemic applies here as well. It only takes one person’s actions to negatively affect the larger community.

Not only could an imparied driver risk the safety of themselves, their passengers, and others, there are other consequences to drinking and driving. Additional penalties include driving suspensions for up to 90 days, having your vehicle impounded, fines that range from $600 to $4 060, and jail time. 

According to ICBC, 67 people die in car crashes involving impaired drivers, over half of which are in the summertime. This statistic combined with B.C.’s pandemic reopening plan should make anyone think twice about drinking and driving. Is one night of fun worth risking your life, the life of someone you know, the life of a stranger, or any other serious consequences? 

Drinking and driving accidents are completely preventable and start with good planning. Decide ahead of time if your or another person in your party will be the designated driver, and therefore either nor drinking, or drinking much less. If everyone will be drinking, plan another safe way to get home either by taxi, ride-hailing, public transportation, or another family member or friend. The preparations you do in advance could save a life or prevent a serious injury if only a little bit of time is taken in advance to plan. 

There are a high number of taxi businesses in Victoria. Like almost every service, these companies have suffered due to the pandemic. Take, for example, the local Bluebird Cabs. Already, only months into the pandemic, the company had laid off all but one of their dispatchers, and even the office manager of the company. When you plan another way home, you are not only protecting others in the community by not drunk driving, but you also have the chance to support struggling local businesses and individual drivers. 

In this day and age, there is no excuse for drinking and driving. There are so many ways to get a safe ride home. Call a taxi or a ride-hailing service, have a designated driver, call a friend or family to give you a ride or take public transportation. We’ve all heard the same message over and over, don’t drink and drive. It puts yourself and others at risk with potentially deadly consequences.

No matter your situation, there is a safe way to get home. Do the responsible thing and make the responsible and safe decision.