More than 50% of road deaths are alcohol related CADA chief
Alcohol had a role in more than 50 percent of the Island’s road deaths in recent years, according to anti-drink driving campaigner Anthony Santucci.
“Since 2000 we have had more than 140 road deaths in Bermuda,” the CADA head told
The Royal Gazette. “I believe that alcohol played a part in a significant amount of them — and that significant amount certainly wouldn’t be less than half.”
As part of Alcohol Awareness Month, CADA continues to call for the introduction of roadside sobriety checkpoints in a bid to change the Island’s drinking culture.
The group has also renewed its recommendation that the Island bring in an Alcohol Bureau of Control to regulate Bermuda’s liquor industry.
Mr Santucci said bringing change into law was “really about political will at this point”.
Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell has said he intends to petition Cabinet to approve amendments to the law that would allow roadside sobriety tests.
Officers currently must take suspected impaired drivers to the police station for a calibrated test.
Mr Santucci said he didn’t yet know what changes would be coming, or when, but said he was heartened that the Minister “did allude to the fact that he’s looking to make some significant changes in the legislation as to roadside breath tests”.
He added that the objective of roadside sobriety checkpoints was “not to catch people — the most significant component is public awareness”.
The announced checkpoints would require a police vehicle at the scene with equipment to obtain a valid reading of alcohol levels. Asked if police budgetary constraints might be a factor, Mr Santucci replied: “What’s the value of a life versus that of a machine?”
He said the implementation of checkpoints wouldn’t deter people from going out on the town, but would just encourage them to do so in a safer way.
“They have sobriety checkpoints in Florida, which is one of the biggest tourism destinations in the world, and you never hear of people saying they’re not going there because of them,” he pointed out.
Mr Santucci admitted that he would have liked to have seen more progress in his long years as chairman of CADA.
“I didn’t think we would still be here seven years later — that’s almost a decade later. [I didn’t think] we would still be talking about getting it done,” he said.
However, he pointed out that since the introduction of the Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) programme, about 1,700 people have been certified for the responsible serving of alcohol.
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