Tis the season to be jolly fa-la-la-la- la la-la-la-la (I think I got them all in).
A few words of caution, if you need alcohol to be jolly that’s fine, just don’t get behind the wheel.
I know you’ve heard it before but drinking and driving is a definite no-no.
Being convicted carries huge increases to your insurance, and that licence you depend on to make a living will be locked away for a minimum of one year (not to mention the increased risk of you injuring or killing someone in an accident if you’re impaired behind the wheel).
Towards the end of next year, Ontario residents will be subjected to a whole new set of rules. Blow between .05 and .08 and you’ll be handing over your licence for a period of three days (presently it’s 12 hours) plus that suspension will be recorded on your abstract (which the insurance company has access too). Rumor has it, don’t be surprised to see premiums head north by at least 25% on a first offence. I can’t imagine what second and third timers will see.
This legislation falls under Bill 203, the same Bill that enables police officers to impound your vehicle and take away your licence for a period of seven days if caught doing 50 km/h over the speed limit.
Bill 203 handles repeat offenders with an iron fist.
Second warnings will result in a seven-day driver’s licence suspension and you’ll be attending a drinking and driving awareness program.
If you are caught a third time, you’ll be receiving a 30-day driving suspension, the mandatory classroom attendance and you’ll be required to install an ignition blow device in the vehicle (I can’t imagine the boss is going to be too happy about that).
It sounds like these new deterrents will indeed be implemented. Personally, I don’t have a problem with them.
In my circle of friends, if we’re “out and about” a designated driver will be determined, if we can’t find one, it’s cab time for all.
In addition, OPP will be stepping up their RIDE programs to include both morning and evening rush hours (in Toronto that means 24 hours a day)!
I’m all-in for eliminating the drunk driver from our roads. I also find that the social inacceptance of the act is helping curb the problem.
When I walk into a party with my wife, often the first words from the host’s mouth will be “who’s driving?”
My response, more often then not is, “I drove here so Lynn (my wife) will surely want to drive home.”
Sometimes it even works! Have a safe and happy holiday! •
-Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-510-5123.
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