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Look out, drunk drivers!

Web posted on June 30, 2005

The Electric Couch Potato

So, now it's officially summer. Roll out the paddy wagons, 'cause I'm declaring open season on drunk drivers.

A little while ago, there was a story about a local guy who was given some jail time after his eighth or ninth DWI conviction. This is nuts, folks! One strike and you're out -- that's the way it should be.

You operate a vehicle while under the influence of something intoxicating, you should lose your licence forever. You should also have your vehicle confiscated and sold to the highest bidder, with the money going into a fund for victims of drunk drivers.

Cue the bleeding-hearts: I've got answers to all of your "righteously indignant" arguments against my proposed system.

Yeah, I hear all you do-gooders yelling about people learning from their mistakes and promising to never ever do it again. Well, this way they can't, now can they?

Oh, what's that? You say it's a harsh punishment? You bet it is! So what???

And you, over there, what do you say about it? It's unfair because you can't take the local public transit system to work because it's located a long way away from the closest bus route? Well, you should have thought of that before getting behind the wheel and endangering a countless number of people. Perhaps you should start lobbying for better bus routes.

Let's discuss the financial hardships of losing a vehicle. So, Daddy gets caught driving home after a nightcap, and loses possession of the family minivan. Imagine how many times worse the financial hardship would be if, instead, Daddy crashed into a light pole, totalling the van and sustaining tens-of-thousands of dollars in medical bills.

There's a special ring in hell for those people who aid and abet repeat offenders. How do these drunks get cars to drive? Other people let 'em borrow theirs. Yes, I'm talking to you: spouses, family members, buddies, co-workers, and neighbours. As far as I'm concerned, if you let someone borrow your car - and that person is not allowed to drive - you should lose your car. End of story.

Driving is not a right - it is a privilege. If you can't behave yourself and play nice with the other kids, get out of the sandbox. Mother Nature doesn't give second chances, folks - it's survival of the fittest out there.

So, let's look at a typical case. Joe Dummy has a few too many at his favorite downtown watering hole, and decides to drive home. One of Guelph's Finest pulls him over after observing Joe's car weaving along the road. Joe fails his sobriety tests, gets charged with drunk driving, and has his licence temporarily suspended. He sees his name published in the local media. He pays his fine, and promises to never do it again.

Do you think Joe learned his lesson? Nope. You see, this was the first time Joe was caught, but it certainly wasn't the first time he ever drove after drinking. And, yes, it certainly won't be the last. Many bad habits die hard, while others can just plain kill you.

From now on, if you see someone who is threatening to drive when they shouldn't do so, stop them. Take the keys away, call a cab, call the cops if you have to. Just don't let them get behind the wheel.