Even one or two drinks can impair your judgement

January, 2006 – Lists, lists and more lists. They seem to go hand in hand with the holiday season. Shopping to do, errands to run and parties to attend. But arranging a safe ride home should be at the top of the list for everybody attending holiday parties this month

Many people will enjoy a drink or two at social gatherings and most people will feel fine to drive. But in fact – they can be impaired.

In 2004 in BC, alcohol was a contributing factor in more than 23 per cent of all police-reported motor vehicle fatal collisions. Approximately 3,200 people were injured and 93 people were killed in alcohol-related collisions. Alcohol-related casualty collisions are more likely to occur on weekends and peak between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. (source: ICBC)

To help raise awareness, ICBC and Autoplan brokers have partnered to launch a public education campaign encouraging people to make plans in advance to get home safely. They are also working with more than 100 large employers in the Greater Vancouver region to deliver this important message to thousands of employees.

“Even a social drink at lunch with co-workers can impair your judgement,” says ICBC Greater Vancouver Regional Loss Prevention Manager, Alison Hart “Nobody means to cause themselves or others harm, but that’s the reality of it. There are serious legal consequences, but most of all, you or your passengers could be injured or killed in a crash.”

If you drink and drive, there are some serious consequences. Consider the following:

  • You or your passengers could be injured or killed in a crash.

  • You may spend time in jail.

  • You could lose your licence.

  • You may have to pay stiff fines.

  • Your insurance may not pay for any injuries or damage you cause.

  • You may get a criminal record.

“Why take that chance,” says Colin Hunt on behalf of Greater Vancouver Autoplan Brokers. “Before walking out the door, take two minutes to make plans to get home safely.”

Choose a designated driver, arrange for a friend or family member to pick you up, or have money set aside for a cab. Refuse to drive with drivers who are impaired. Ask to be let out of the car if necessary. Take a stand and don’t let people who may be impaired drive.

Remember, even one or two drinks can impair your judgement. Plan ahead for a safe ride home before you go to the party.

For more information check out Get Home Safe

About ICBC

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is a provincial Crown corporation established in 1973 to provide universal auto insurance to BC motorists. In addition, the Corporation is responsible for driver licensing, vehicle registration and licensing. For more information, go to www.icbc.com.