ICBC: Top excuses given by impaired drivers this holiday season

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December 22, 2011 – ICBC and police are reminding drivers that as Christmas quickly approaches and you begin confirming your New Year’s plans, it’s also time to start planning a safe ride home for you and your loved ones. CounterAttack roadchecks remain in full effect across the province and excuses won’t hold up if you’re caught driving impaired this holiday season.

While attitudes about impaired driving are changing, amazingly, police are still hearing excuses from impaired drivers about why they chose to get behind the wheel while impaired despite the many alternatives available to get home safely.

Here are just some of the excuses offered by drivers at CounterAttack roadchecks across the province this month:

  • “I’m driving my drunk friends home� I’ve had less than all of them.” Choosing the least drunk person to be the designated driver is not a safe way to get friends and family home, and it’s a decision that could end in tragedy. Start the night with a plan to get home safely � choose a designated driver before you go out, make sure you have money for transit or a taxi, a place to stay overnight, or a friend you can call for a ride.
  • “I’ve only had a couple.” Every drink you consume adds to your level of impairment. The “just a couple” mentality can blur your perception of reality and the actual number of drinks you’ve consumed throughout the night. Don’t get caught up in the celebration � if you’ve been drinking, make the smart choice to get home safely.
  • “I was just going two blocks.” Impaired driving is dangerous and illegal whether you are traveling a block or 20 kilometres. CounterAttack roadchecks are everywhere � so no matter how close to home you may be, think twice about getting behind the wheel, you might just encounter a friendly, neighbourhood roadcheck.
  • “I can hold my liquor.” Police often hear from drivers who have survived an alcohol-related crash that they had very little to drink and really didn’t think they were impaired. The truth is, alcohol affects your perception of how impaired you are, and your risk of crashing increases with each alcoholic drink you consume.
  • “I can’t be drunk…I’m the designated driver!” Taking your turn to be the designated driver is a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Offer to be the designated driver before you head out to celebrate � but remember that a true designated driver is the person who decides not to drink so they can drive others home safely.

This holiday season, we can all do our part help to keep our roads safe. Set an example � share the responsibility and take your turn to be a designated driver. Your smart driving decisions can have a significant influence on others.

Enjoy the holidays and have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve..

About ICBC

ICBC serves 3.2 million customers in the province of British Columbia, Canada. ICBC licenses and insures drivers and vehicles across the province through its service centres, plus a network of more than 900 independent brokers and government agent offices. Claims customers are served through local offices and an award-winning Dial-a-Claim call centre. ICBC’s road safety investments help create safer roads, lead to fewer crashes, and help keep rates stable. To find out more, visit icbc.com.