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Under the influence


So, are we winning the war on drunk driving? Some days, you have to wonder. And Wednesday was one of those days, at least as far as the Bay St. George detachment of the RCMP is concerned.

During a 24-hour period spanning parts of July 29 and July 30, the Bay St. George RCMP responded to 14 calls for service.
Of those, somewhere between one-fourth and one-fifth were drunk-driving complaints.
Here's how the first one looked in a Thursday morning news release: "At 10: 27 a.m. police received a report from a Stephenville business indicating that a customer had just driven to their location and appeared to be intoxicated. Police attended and located the
61-year-old male resident of Stephenville and arrested him for impaired driving. The man subsequently provided a breath sample that (was) 2 1/2 times the legal limit. The male will appear in court on Oct. 5th to enter a plea to impaired driving charges."
That was before lunch. Later, it was this: "At 7: 43 p.m., police received a report of a possible impaired driver in Port au Port East. The male was observed operating a pickup truck and was arrested for impaired driving. The male failed to provide a proper sample of his breath after multiple requests and is facing a charge, impaired operation of a motor vehicle, failing to provide a proper breath sample as well as a charge of breach of probation. The 29-year-old Port au Port East male was released from custody and will appear in court on Oct. 19th."
Overnight patrols showed the same result:
"At 4 a.m. on July 30th, 2015, police conducted a traffic stop with a 44-year-old man from Ship Cove. The man was exhibiting signs of impairment and he registered a fail on the roadside screening device. The man was returned to the Stephenville RCMP detachment where breath samples indicated that he was operating the vehicle while over the legal limit of alcohol in his system. The man was released from custody and will appear in court on Sept. 28th."
What's interesting about the three arrests? Well, that they literally spanned the clock - there was an early evening arrest, an early morning arrest and a mid-morning arrest, suggesting that there's no safe time when you can expect to avoid drunk drivers. Even more discouragingly, the ages of thearrestees spanned a range of ages from late 20s to early 60s - you'd hope that, by now, a younger cohort of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would be far more aware of the hazards of drunk driving, and of the lack of acceptance for such behaviour by society in general.
Are we winning the war? Some days, you can hope that we are. Other days, like Wednesday, it's pretty clear we're still losing battles.

During a 24-hour period spanning parts of July 29 and July 30, the Bay St. George RCMP responded to 14 calls for service.
Of those, somewhere between one-fourth and one-fifth were drunk-driving complaints.
Here's how the first one looked in a Thursday morning news release: "At 10: 27 a.m. police received a report from a Stephenville business indicating that a customer had just driven to their location and appeared to be intoxicated. Police attended and located the
61-year-old male resident of Stephenville and arrested him for impaired driving. The man subsequently provided a breath sample that (was) 2 1/2 times the legal limit. The male will appear in court on Oct. 5th to enter a plea to impaired driving charges."
That was before lunch. Later, it was this: "At 7: 43 p.m., police received a report of a possible impaired driver in Port au Port East. The male was observed operating a pickup truck and was arrested for impaired driving. The male failed to provide a proper sample of his breath after multiple requests and is facing a charge, impaired operation of a motor vehicle, failing to provide a proper breath sample as well as a charge of breach of probation. The 29-year-old Port au Port East male was released from custody and will appear in court on Oct. 19th."
Overnight patrols showed the same result:
"At 4 a.m. on July 30th, 2015, police conducted a traffic stop with a 44-year-old man from Ship Cove. The man was exhibiting signs of impairment and he registered a fail on the roadside screening device. The man was returned to the Stephenville RCMP detachment where breath samples indicated that he was operating the vehicle while over the legal limit of alcohol in his system. The man was released from custody and will appear in court on Sept. 28th."
What's interesting about the three arrests? Well, that they literally spanned the clock - there was an early evening arrest, an early morning arrest and a mid-morning arrest, suggesting that there's no safe time when you can expect to avoid drunk drivers. Even more discouragingly, the ages of thearrestees spanned a range of ages from late 20s to early 60s - you'd hope that, by now, a younger cohort of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would be far more aware of the hazards of drunk driving, and of the lack of acceptance for such behaviour by society in general.
Are we winning the war? Some days, you can hope that we are. Other days, like Wednesday, it's pretty clear we're still losing battles.

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