Canadian provinces are continuing to gear up for the recreational pot era which will begin on Canada Day next year. There’s increasing concern about the opioid epidemic, and the rising use of even scarier drugs like flacca and crystal meth.
But guess what, the biggest problem continues to be the ‘demon rum’. Saskatchewan continues to be one of the worst places for drinking and driving in Canada. Brad Wall, the lame duck premier, is trying more steps to reduce the needless tragedies that result from drinking and driving before he heads off into the prairie sunset.
Point Zero Four is effectively the new legal limit in Rider Nation, and anyone caught driving with that level in their blood will face stiffer penalties, especially if they have kids in the car. A first offence will now result in an automatic license suspension for seven days. If a high-functioning alcoholic continues to insist on driving impaired, the suspension could increase to 120 days. However, enforcement is an obvious problem.
The courts in Saskatchewan and elsewhere have heard many stories of drivers who have had their licenses suspended a dozen times or more, and then thumb their nose by driving away from the courthouse. Drinking and driving is a way of life for too many people on the prairies, and no matter what governments do to toughen the laws, the numbers don’t move down very much.
There is a solution that is used in extreme cases. It’s an ignition interlock that won’t allow a vehicle to start unless the driver blows in with a clean breath sample. If the device was installed by all manufacturers in all new vehicles, the cost would soon become totally manageable, and the results would be totally worthwhile.
Why does it not happen? Maybe ask the brewers and distillers who have been known to donate more than a few dollars to political parties everywhere.
In the meantime, be careful out on the road.
I’m Roger Currie