DRUNKEN DRIVING AMONGST YOUNG

Younger drivers found drinking

 (Steve MacInnis – Cape Breton Post)

 

Sgt. Russell Baker, who heads the Cape Breton Regional Police Service traffic unit, displays an anti-drinking and driving poster, a common sight in most workplaces. But some continue to ignore the message and Baker said they do so at their own risk,…

Published on December 17th, 2010

Published on December 17th, 2010

Steve MacInnis 

Overall charges about steady compared to last year

SYDNEY — Sgt. Russell Baker reviews the year’s statistics for drinking and driving infractions in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and notices a disturbing pattern.

Topics :

RCMP , Cape Breton , Nova Scotia

“Charges against those aged 35 and under are becoming more prevalent,” the veteran Cape Breton Regional Police officer said.

Overall, statistics are about steady. In 2009, there were 171 charges of impaired driving filed and so far this year, 166 individuals have been charged.

But Baker said it is surprising that younger drivers are increasingly getting caught drinking and driving, given that age group would have been bombarded with anti-drinking-and-driving campaigns during their school years.

He didn’t have any hard numbers on the amount of younger drivers being charged with impaired driving, but said police have noticed a pattern emerging.

And the number of charges doesn’t seem to be dropping since last year. “Since Dec. 1, we’ve charged 13 persons, which is really quite disturbing,” Baker said.

So, what’s the problem? Why aren’t people getting the message to not drink and drive.

“I guess they just don’t feel it would happen to them (getting nabbed by police),” said Baker.

“Charges against those aged 35 and under are becoming more prevalent.” – Cape Breton Regional Police Sgt. Russell Baker

See ‘Fallout’ page A2

But getting caught can happen to anyone at anytime and Baker said he hears the same comment every time.

“‘I know I shouldn’t have done it. I am some stupid,’” he said.

The fallout from an impaired charge should be enough to scare most drivers.

There is always potential for loss of life or serious injury, which should be the main reason not to get behind the wheel intoxicated.

But Baker also said a conviction means no licence for one year, which for some could mean finding a new job. It also results in fines that average about $1,500, and insurance rates soar and remain high for at least five years.

Then, said Baker, there is the matter of incurring a criminal record, which could prevent an individual from traveling internationally.

(But for the Grace of God go I not so long ago – CAPER)

“Have a safe and accident free Holiday Season”

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