Time to reinstate island’s war on drink-driving
The recent announcement by the Director of Public Prosecutions about enacting a sane policy for possession of small amounts of cannabis reminded me of the senseless road deaths I expect to see reported in The Royal Gazette each weekend — deaths owing to high levels of alcohol intoxication, a problem on our lovely island that continues to be ignored.
As a comparison, it is heartening to note how the sentiment in the United States and Canada has changed when it comes to drink-driving. Gone are the days when people joke at work about how they don't know how they made it home the night before. It is no longer socially acceptable to hold this view.
This all came about because of the efforts of one woman who lost a child to a drunk driver, a woman who started Mothers Against Drunk Driving — and the campaign just took over. Now every police vehicle in the US and Canada carries a breathalyser and you get incarcerated on the spot if you are over the limit. Yet in Bermuda, getting “full hot” and then weaving your way home on your bike or in your car is still considered somewhat humorous.
When a group of mothers gets fed up with this slaughter and relentlessly harangue the Government and the Police, then we will see action. If drivers leaving town after midnight were pulled over and breathalysed, drink-driving would be markedly reduced. There are only a few roads, after all.
If police were stationed outside every big club and checked drivers, habits would change overnight. And the death rate would be radically reduced.
Thirty years ago, a significant number of all drivers in Bermuda were “off the road” for three months at any given time for the simplest of driving infractions. Restoring this penalty for drink-driving may be worth consideration.