Ross Chafe and Kelley Blunden two of the victims of a deadly crash Photograph provided by Facebook and The Vancouver Sun
This weekend, two cyclists and a passenger were killed by an alleged drunk driver who crossed the highway center line and plowed head first into a group of cyclists. This was a tragic reminder of the potentially life altering consequences of drinking and driving. However, some drivers still don't get it. On average, 86 people die a year in BC car accidents involving impaired driving.
If the possibility of killing someone isn't enough to stop you from driving drunk, here are a few other consequences of impaired driving to consider:
1) You could lose your house and more: If you drive over the legal alcohol limit, you will be in breach of your insurance policy and will not be covered. Not only will you not receive any damages for your own personal injuries but you could also be personally responsible for 100 per cent of the personal and property damages that arise from the accident. Using this weekend's incident as an example, if the driver was impaired he may be personally on the hook for the damages to the family members which could include the loss of the deceased earnings over what would have been their normal life expectancy.
2) You could lose your freedom: It is a criminal offence to operate a motor vehicle (whether moving or not) while impaired, which includes driving with a blood alcohol content exceeding eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood (Criminal Code section 249-261). If you are found guilty, court ordered consequences include a minimum $1000 fine, a driving prohibition and possible jail time.
3) You could lose your car: Under the Motor Vehicle Act, if an officer has reasonable suspicion to believe a driver may be under the influence of alcohol, he or she can request a breath sample to determine a driver's blood alcohol level. If the driver's blood alcohol content is less than the legal limit but over .05 they can be served with an immediate roadside prohibition. Depending on whether it is your first, second or third time within 5 years there are various consequences including:
- Driving prohibition from 3-30 day
- Your vehicle is impounded 3-30 day
- Fines from $200-$400
- Required application to get back your license
If you fail the test, you will be prohibited from driving for 90 days or may face criminal charges.
4) You could lose your life: You're not just putting others at risk, you are putting yourself at risk.
Don't be a loser. Next time you think of getting behind the wheel after drinking, think twice and call a friend or a cab. It's for your own good.