EDITORIAL: If you see it, then report it

Call out those who choose to drink and drive in our communities

Summer is in full swing, the patios are packed with people enjoying a cold one and backyard barbecues and picnics abound.

Unfortunately, summer holidays, sunshine and high temperatures can combine to concoct a deadly cocktail of people drinking and driving. RCMP, ICBC and other police agencies launched another Counter Attack program this week to try and put a dent in the carnage resulting from people continuing to drink and drive.

Seeing a strong presence of RCMP members and Auxiliary Constables on Monday on Six Mile Road near the Trans-Canada Highway, checking vehicles coming from and heading toward Thetis Lake Park to mark the Counter Attack kick off is a good start, but we all need to do our part. Only a concerted effort will drive the message home that we need to put the brakes on drinking and driving for good.

If you know your circumstances may include a couple of drinks, take the time to arrange a ride home or ensure you have a designated driver. It’s much easier to take the time and plan ahead, compared to what you will deal with if you drink and get behind the wheel. It can save your life, the lives of those you love or the lives of innocent others.

One bad decision can leave scars that never heal and a trail of shattered lives ruined by a booze-fuelled lapse in judgment. Even if you are fortunate enough to be pulled over before you do any damage, the consequences of a hefty fine, vehicle impoundment, court time and the possibility of a criminal record are steep penalties to pay.

You can be part of the solution by letting the police know if you see someone who is drinking and driving. If you see someone sneaking a few brews at the beach, call 911. If the person at the pub knocking back shooters to celebrate a birthday is getting into their car to drive home, call 911. If you see a vehicle being driven recklessly or erratically, call 911. It’s also of assistance if you can clearly identify the location, direction of travel and can provide a licence plate number before you call.

While programs like drinking and driving Counter Attack and media coverage have resulted in a reduction in impaired driving offences, the sad reality is there are still people out there who just don’t get it.

So please, enjoy your summer and help spread the word that if you are foolish enough to drink and drive, there are more and more people out there watching with an eye on getting you arrested and off the road.