DEC. 12 OUR VIEW: ‘Tis the season to drink sensibly

Wine, beer or spirits are a great complement to a get-together, so is the general rule of thumb when consuming alcohol, moderation is best.

While some complained that it wasn’t feeling Christmas-like in Grand Forks and area, this past weekend’s snow fall has certainly added to the holiday-like feel, especially since some snow fell right before Friday’s Santa Parade.

The parade is an unofficial kick-off to the holiday season in Grand Forks and with carols blaring on Market Avenue with regularity, it’s safe to say the festive season is on.

Along with the shopping are the various office parties and what better way to add to the cheer than with an alcoholic beverage?

But while wine, beer or spirits are a great complement to a get-together, so is the general rule of thumb when consuming alcohol, moderation is best.

Another aspect of the holidays, is the CounterAttack road stop program that is set up by police to reduce drinking and driving fatalities

There was an accident last Thursday in Grand Forks and the person involved was said to have failed a breath screening device test but thankfully wasn’t injured.

An estimated 36 people die in drinking driving related deaths in the B.C. Southern Interior a year and the number of fatalities have dropped by over 40 per cent since the CounterAttack program began 35 years ago.

It makes sense to watch what you drink, especially when at a holiday gathering.

You not only risk losing your licence for long periods of time, you stand to lose a lot of money as well.

The first time a person registers a warning (blood alcohol concentration of between 0.05 and 0.08) on a breathalyzer, it will cost them $600. A second incident will cost $780 and the third will set an offender back around $4,000.

Everyone responds differently to alcohol and some people’s system can process alcohol faster than others but even if you have a high tolerance to alcohol, it’s still wise to use moderation.

With the snow, the roads become harder to navigate and since alcohol is known to slow cognitive function and affect judgment and you can’t be lacking in those areas if you are driving down an icy road at night or when visibility is low – you have to be alert.

People should exercise good judgment when it comes to drinking and driving all year but even more so during the holidays.

Losing your licence, getting into an accident, paying a hefty fine or losing your life is a horrible gift to give yourself or your loved ones.

– Grand Forks Gazette

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