“Looking at the stats, there are more drivers consuming liquor and getting behind the wheel this year compared to last season.”
If you’re planning to be out on Langley roads over the holiday season, these aren’t words you want to hear from the local police.
But Langley RCMP Traffic Section Sgt. Alexandra Mulvihill was blunt in her assessment of this year’s drinking and driving statistics. They’re bad.
During a two-hour period earlier this month, Langley RCMP issued three 90-day roadside suspensions, one three-day driving suspension and two 24-hour suspensions after pulling over drivers who chose to drive after drinking alcohol.
What does it say that despite the ongoing widespread advertising campaign, which often includes some pretty heart-wrenching testimony from people who have lost loved ones to drinking drivers, that we are seeing the number of impaired drivers go up instead of down?
It demonstrates a level of selfish disregard for others that is quite simply mind boggling.
Whether the absence of Operation Red Nose in Langley this December has had any effect on the numbers is impossible to say for certain.
Granted, it would be easier to organize a night out on the town if the volunteer-runprogram were operating, or if we here in the Lower Mainland could turn to Uber or Lyft. But we can’t.
None of this serves as an excuse. If you don’t have the patience to wait for a taxi or can’t find someone who’s willing to sip soft drinks all night while you imbibe, then maybe it’s just not your night to tie one on.
If there’s a bright side to Sgt. Mulvihill’s report, it’s that the people serving the drinks seem to be taking the general public’s safety seriously, with many bar and pub employees refusing service to clients who’ve had enough and calling the police if they’re concerned about someone driving who shouldn’t be behind the wheel.
It’s terrifying to think that we are all at the mercy of so many people who are apparently still out there making bad decisions. All that any of us can do is keep an eye out and make a call when we see something that concerns us.