It can only be viewed as outstanding news. Last week, the provincial government announced that 104 fewer people have died as a result of alcohol-related crashes since the launch of the immediate roadside-prohibition program in September of 2010.
The data show a 46 per cent drop from the average number of 114 alcohol-related deaths over the previous five years.
Obviously, that's still too many, but it shows the get-tough measures are working.
Provincewide, the number of alcohol-related driving deaths dropped to 66 in the first year of the program and 58 in the second.
On Vancouver Island, there were 12 alcohol-related deaths during the first year of the government's program, compared to 21 deaths over the five years before the government implemented its IRP program.
Since you can't legislate away stupidity, the problem will never completely be eradicated.
The hardcore drunks aren't generally worried about anyone but themselves.
However, we've now had an entire generation of Counter Attack ads, police roadblocks, groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and endless media campaigns to get the message across.
It would be awfully hard to find someone of driving age today who has not seen the message.
It doesn't mean you can't have fun or consume a legal product - it just means you have to be smart about it.
This isn't an example of an overactive nanny state or a cash grab.
It is a measure designed to protect all of us and it's hard to find a reason for anyone to complain. What is most different now is the immediate roadside-prohibition program.
If the penalties are perceived as harsh, that's too bad. They should be. There is no reason whatsoever to drink and drive. That message should resonate even more strongly than usual at this time of year.
Anyone who takes their life (and the lives of others) into their hands deserves the harshest of penalties.
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