Impaired driving still continues, despite risks, consequences

A recent spate of impaired drivers in the Grand Forks area has the local RCMP feeling a certain amount of frustration.

“It is still very disappointing the amount of impaired drivers we are finding,” said Detachment Commander Sergeant Darryl Peppler. “Hopefully nothing serious has to happen before people start to get the message.”

Sgt. Peppler said that while overall the numbers could be worse, there are a “select few” who just aren’t getting the message, and are willing to take the risks regardless of the potential consequences of getting pulled over.

“It’s officially 90 days without a license,” Sgt. Peppler said. “But it works out to be closer to nine months to a year before they can jump through all the hoops and actually get [their license] back. Plus all the costs associated to getting their license back, plus towing and impound fees for 30 days — people just think they won’t get caught, and risk it.”

When one considers the consequences, drinking and driving is a huge risk to take. Not just for the risk of an accident or causing injury, but the loss of a drivers license — which can be such a vital part of one’s life — can have a huge impact on your own life.

“I’ve heard of people losing their jobs, of the impact on family life — not able to pick up their kids from school or sports, having to have the spouse drive them around, not able to go on trips— or risking it by driving while prohibited or without a license and now going to court.”

In B.C., impaired drivers also have to take a course as part of the consequences — and these are only held so often. You have wait for there to be a course and hope there is an opening, Sgt. Peppler said.

“You might also need the interlock ignition system (a device installed in your car where a clean breath sample must be provided before you can start it). And they only do that in so many places. “Plus all the administration fees and fines that add up.”

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