Impaired driving serious holiday season issue

Posted Dec 6, 2010 by KJ Mullins
With the holiday season comes parties and the chance of a young person making the wrong choice when it comes to getting home. Drug use was a factor in over 13 per cent of traffic fatalities in Canada in 2006.
Texting While Driving Can Kill
Texting While Driving Can Kill
For those under the age of 18 using drugs when driving as opposed to alcohol is a factor in fatal Canadian car crashes more often according to a study of fatal crashes from 2000-2007. According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse in Ottawa more than 60 per cent of those using illegal drugs are between the ages of 15 and 24.
Saskia Matheson, official spokesperson for Allstate Canada said in a press release, “Your parents would rather get a late night call from a party than from the hospital or the police station. We are asking young drivers to be responsible and call a taxi or stay at a friend’s house if you are not in a condition to drive.”
Young drivers convicted of impaired driving face heavy consequences; a minimum fine of $600; licence suspension for at least one year; Ineligible to buy car insurance from a standard insurer for three years and will have to buy from a very expensive high-risk insurer.
“Incidents involving young drivers are especially troubling as the level of driving experience is low. Anything that impairs their ability to react to a dangerous situation only increases the risk of serious injury or death.”
Chief Armand La Barge of the York Regional Police
The legal risks of impaired driving are serious, so are the risks the a youth's future. An impaired driving conviction can follow them the rest of their life with the potential of damaging future chances of employment.
What may be even harder though is the lost trust that the youth could have to deal with from friends and family.
“Although the misuse of drugs has long been considered a major social problem, the acute and devastating consequences of driving while under the influence of drugs has only recently come to the forefront as a public health and safety issue.”
Douglas J. Beirness, researcher at the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada has created the Home for the Holidays program in an effort to teach young drivers about these issues.