COLUMN: Lyle Karasiuk — Jan. 31, 2013

Lyle Karasiuk
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We’ve all heard in the media the tragedy that has occurred in our community recently. A person who I never met, but I am sure was remarkably gifted, Chrystal Rivet lost her life due to a tragic motor vehicle collision.

To her family, my most sincere condolences! As we move forward from this event and others that have happened in our community, we try to look for answers.

Why did this have to happen?

Why must be asked that despite tough drinking and driving penalties, strong law enforcement, people just don’t seem to get it! We drink and still think we can drive. I did a Google search for drinking and driving penalties in other countries.

Here’s what I found:

• Malaysia: The driver is jailed and if married, his wife is jailed too.

• Australia: The names of the drivers are sent to the local newspapers and are printed under the heading “He’s drunk and in jail.”

• South Africa: A 10-year prison sentence and the equivalent of a $10,000 fine.

• Turkey: Drunk drivers are taken 20 miles outside of town by police and are forced to walk back under escort.

• Finland and Sweden: Automatic jail for one year of hard labor. Costa Rica: Police remove plates from car.

• Russia: Not many may be surprised that they have tough laws based on Russians long love affair with alcohol. If caught driving under the influence of alcohol, you lose your driving license for life. Even upon the first offense.

• Mexico and Canada: Give their border patrol agents the right to deny a person entry into the country if he has been convicted of DUI.

But why do people drive drunk?

Some people may not care about the consequences. They have not had a single thought about what would happen if.

Remember alcohol impairs your brains ability to process information so when you know you have to get home, your job depends on you driving and the sense of daring that “I’ll never get caught” we simply get behind the wheel and off we go.

We believe or at least we’ve convinced ourselves to believe, we can do it. It continues to happen and we just don’t get it.

How many more tragedy’s will happen before we, society, gets it? What has to happen before we sit back and say remember those days when people would drink and drive like it happened so long ago?

One fundamental principle still remains education is very important. We cannot stop talking about the issue. From our high schools to coffee row, we must not give up hope that one day the “problem” will be a distant memory.

Yes, I can hear those who say talk is not getting us anywhere then ask our law makers to find a solution. Put pressure on those that can make the difference to make the difference.

Next time you consider drinking and driving, stop and have a word with yourself. Do the smart thing please don’t drink and drive!

 

“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” — Robert F Kennedy.

 

Organizations: Google

Geographic location: Malaysia, Australia, South Africa Turkey Finland Sweden Costa Rica Russia Mexico Canada

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