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Drinking and driving: an ever-present scourge

1223136Driving while impaired remains a scourge. In the one Tuesday morning, Judge Jean Hudon, of the Court of Quebec, received a dozen new records.

Despite awareness campaigns, the fact of losing his license for a year and to have imposed stiff fines, courthouses daily make the penalties for drivers caught driving while impaired. The main reason is that the judgment is affected by the drink.

Cases handled Tuesday were not registered during the weekend, but in previous weeks and months. People who had been released on a promise to appear.

“I feel that it is Groundhog Day,” dropped the judge Jean Hudon, of the Court of Québec.

He launched this sentence after accepting a guilty plea third in the space of 30 minutes. Three defendants who have pleaded guilty, who did not want to be defended by a lawyer and wanted to settle the case. Both were fined $ 1,300 (plus fees and surcharge) and another was fined $ 1,000 (no aggravating fact). In the other nine cases, individuals were represented by an attorney and files were delivered in September.

“Cases of pipes impaired represent a third of my records,” said Julien Me Boulianne.

“What is there still so many cases? It is because of the judgment. Aside from repeat offenders, when a person is fasting, it will always say that it will never drive after drinking alcohol. But once the alcohol consumed, the judgment of the human decreases. The driver said he is okay and has not consumed as it “continues Mr. Boulianne.

The bell sound is the same for Me Olivier Theoret, service of Legal Aid.

“People have good judgment fasting. But whenever there is consumption, it seems that drivers think more about the consequences. Drinking and driving remains a scourge, “he said.

“You also know that there are more and more people who speak these situations. It can be the owner of a restaurant or a bar, a server or a client. Even family members communicate with police to protest. Others use cell when following a vehicle whose conduct is inappropriate. And they will follow up the car until the police arrived, “adds Mr. Theoret.

The weather

When a person has consumed, the only way to eliminate alcohol in the blood, it is time. Not two, three or four coffees.

On average, you should know that a human eliminates about 15 milligrams of alcohol per hour. Sometimes a person who has taken a large amount of alcohol, decided to stay in bed at a friend with a rate of about .200. It bothers to sleep five or six hours, and when he awoke, he resumed his vehicle.

“There is a very good chance that he is still intoxicated. With an elimination of 15 mg per hour, six hours sleep reduces the rate of .200 to .110. And at this rate, a person is in violation. But people do not always think and do not understand what happens when caught, “said Mr. Boulianne.

The offending drivers quickly denounced

Driving while impaired is less and less tolerated. Many citizens do not hesitate a moment to take their cell and to report impaired drivers to police.

Dispatchers of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and the Public Safety Saguenay (SPS) are receiving more and more calls from citizens willing to report erratic driving. Since the advent of cell phones, this practice has become regular.

“Over 50 percent of arrests for pipes impaired originate calls of citizens. These people are going to follow the driver at fault and to give their version to the police, “said Bruno Cormier, spokesman for the SPS.

“We also get calls from people in bars or at parties. We have alerts on drivers who go to car service and have a particular course or have difficulty placing their order. I believe there is a collective awareness. People want more and more to do their part, “he notes.

At the SQ, the publicist Jean Tremblay feels the same way. The SQ is much broader territory to cover than Saguenay and the population is more scattered.

“We also have more and more calls. I would say that on average, a citizen denounces driving while impaired every day. The number of complaints is increasing, “he notes.

“It is not today that it is done. In the past, many people called the police from bars and hotels. They wanted to denounce a driver after having advised not to take his vehicle. But we must admit that the arrival of cell increases the number of charges, “says Jean Tremblay.

The two main police forces in the region still hold police roadblocks. On each side, there are about a week. Dams have intensified during the holiday season.

And that’s not counting the police often recommend to people at festivals, not to take their vehicle because they seem intoxicated. Despite this, some do not take into account and are caught within minutes.

Zero tolerance?

By dint of seeing many new cases are emerging about the role of appearances, some wonder if the promotional campaigns of the Society of auto insurance in Quebec and the Quebec government truly reach their target.

“As for me, although I know it will not be fun for many people, the only way to achieve this is to apply zero tolerance. Even reduce the limit of .05 BAC is not a solution, says Mr. Julien Boulianne.

“Or you have to have a definite plan before deciding to have a drink. We must make arrangements with a friend or provide taxi. But do not expect once one has consumed. From there, people do not have the same way of thinking, “concludes Mr. Boulianne.

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