Have a happy, and safe, New Year’s celebration

We’d like everyone to live through the holidays, without incurring any serious injuries.

We’d like everyone to live through the holidays, without incurring any serious injuries.

While Christmas is now over, New Years is dead ahead, and traditionally it’s one of the days, and nights of the year when people consume the most alcohol.

And while it can all be in good fun (though we heartily suggest you avoid drinking to such excess that you rue being born the next day, so painful is your hangover), we do remind people that if they are going to consume alcohol this New Year’s Eve, the one thing they must not do is drive while under the influence.

This of course goes for drugs as well. There’s more than one way to be impaired.

In fact, it’s not just illegal drugs one has to worry about. Make sure any prescription medication you may be taking doesn’t leave you impaired under the Criminal Code.

There was a time when drinking and driving wasn’t taken that seriously.

Some will likely remember when, especially in a small town where everyone knows everybody else, the cop would just wave you on and maybe tell you to go slow. No malice involved, he just wanted to be a good guy.

It wasn’t unknown for someone to have a beer in one hand and the steering wheel in the other as they moseyed down the road.

But lest one think there was really nothing wrong with that and we should return to the “good old days”, consider that in 1976, the year before CounterAttack road checks began, there were more than 300 fatalities from impaired crashes in B.C. alone.

Compare that to 2015 when 69 people were killed in impaired crashes. That it’s better now is incontrovertible. The move to stop impaired driving was a societal improvement, no ifs, ands, or buts.

There’s still more to be done, however. Losing 70 people to impaired crashes is still not an acceptable number. These are entirely preventable deaths.

It is a terrible fact that all too often the person killed in the impaired crash is the other driver, not the person who has consumed drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

The circle of those affected by these tragedies is wide. There’s the victim, of course, but there’s all of the victim’s family and friends and community as well. Then there’s the perpetrator and all of their family, who will also never be the same.

So consider all of these people when you make the choice this New Year’s Eve. You can’t take it back.