The Drug Class Blog

Jan 05

Habits Start Early

An Article on CBC caught my eye.

Too many novice drivers drinking: police

Last Updated: Thursday, December 23, 2010 | 4:47 PM CST

 CBC News  Winnipeg police and Manitoba Public Insurance are sounding the alarm about young novice drivers being caught with booze in their system. 'There are ramifications out there for your actions.' —Insp. Jim Poole In the past 25 days, officers working in the Checkstop program have caught 11 novice drivers who had been drinking — two of them with alcohol levels high enough to charge them with impaired driving. All of those stopped and checked were between 18 and 22 years old, Insp. Jim Poole said. Under Manitoba law, drivers with five years or less experience behind the wheel aren't allowed to have a drop of alcohol in their systems regardless of age. December's Winnipeg police crackdown on impaired drivers has already netted more arrests than it did for the entire Checkstop program in 2009. "If the kids aren't watching the news we're hoping the parents are watching the news and going to be able to use this as a lever against the kids and tell them there are ramifications out there for your actions," Poole said. Each of the novice drivers recently caught will receive an automatic three-month licence suspension. 

So What are we to do?? Habits start early so the more we can do to get in the way of young people drinking and driving or drugging and driving the less of a problem this will be in the future.  Getting caught the first time you drive impaired is a huge deterrent so increased enforcement will help, but so will better monitoring by parents and care givers. If your teen has a car check them, if there is evidence that they have been drinking and driving or drugging and driving then losing the privilege to drive will help deter the behavior. Letting the police know you believe that your son or daughter is driving impaired sends a strong message and may save their life.

If we back up another step we can also look at why the drug or alcohol use is so important to the teens that they will put their lives and the lives of their friends at risk.

All of this requires regular attention and discussion, schools need to continue strong drug and alcohol education programs, parents need to be on top of what is going on and we all need to report drivers that we feel are impaired.

What do you think?

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