Providing awareness for impaired driving

Amos Johnson
By Amos Johnson January 12, 2018 11:56

Chaouki Hamka speaks to students about the red ribbon campaign at Kennedy Collegiate Secondary School (Photo By Amos Johnson).

By Amos Johnson

Never drive impaired and always plan ahead. Otherwise you are putting everyone else at risk.

Impaired driving is a huge concern for police. While officers are always on the lookout, the public are encouraged to contact police if they suspect anyone of impaired driving.

MADD celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Red Ribbon program to provide awareness of impaired driving for students at Kennedy Collegiate high school. Attending the event were members of the Windsor Police, as well as police from LaSalle and Amherstburg, Allstate Insurance and many other organizations against drinking and driving were also present.

The red ribbon symbolizes a commitment to driving safe and sober. The annual awareness campaign runs from Nov. 1 to Jan. 8.

Chaouki Hamka is the community leader for MADD Canada and is aware of the challenges police face with impaired driving.

“The men and women in uniform are the ones who see the devastating carnage impaired driving causes. They are the ones who pick up the pieces of what’s left. They are the ones who have to deliver the horrific news to the families of the victims,” said Hamka.

“I couldn’t imagine being a police officer, knocking on someone’s door and telling them ‘your son/daughter/grandparent/parent has been killed,’ I couldn’t imagine.”

According to Statistics Canada, incidents involving impaired driving are more likely to occur on the weekend. In 2015, 25 per cent of incidents occurred on a Saturday with 21 per cent taking place on a Sunday.

Sgt. Steve Betteridge is the public information officer for WPS and is a supporter of the Red Ribbon campaign.

“In this digital age where taxis and other forms of transportation can easily and readily be obtained, there is no excuse for anyone to ever get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after having consumed too much alcohol,” said Betteridge.

Consequences from impaired driving are given from the judiciary system and may result in the suspension of your driver’s licence, a fine, an education or treatment program and possible jail time.

“A lot of times, it would depend whether it was their first offense, second offense or a criminal record history. As well as the direct charge, you could have simple impaired driving, impaired driving causing bodily harm [or] impaired driving causing death,” said Betteridge.

“Driving is a privilege in our country, it’s not a right. That privilege can be taken away within the law. We all want safe roads in our community.”

Amos Johnson
By Amos Johnson January 12, 2018 11:56

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