Zero Alcohol for New and Young Drivers in Ontario
The New Year’s Eve celebration is upon us and many young people in North America, particularly, in Canada will be out having a good time with friends and families tonight. Before the year ends, here's a word caution: "Don't press your luck and gas pedal too hard". Or, sip a glass of wine for the road if you're 21 and below and only a G1 license holder in Ontario and three other provinces. Beside Christmas lights, there are many roadside blinking lights out there day or night.
On the way home, this holiday season, it is not surprising to see off-highway roads being blocked by police cars with their overhead and headlights flashing. I was stopped last week by a police officer in one of these road blocks. I rolled down my driver side window and exchanged the usual “Good Evening" greetings while he leaned over and asked if I had been drinking. When I said “No” and convinced him without doubt that I only had “bottled water” for a drink he waved me on and wished me a safe journey.
If you may have tackled more than five “beers” or gulped many alcoholic drinks and drove your car home you may be out of luck at the start of year 2011. If you get caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you get a hefty fine, driving suspension and possibly some demerit points or worse get your car towed.
Young drivers in Ontario aged 21 and under are subject to some of the toughest age restrictions on drinking and driving in the country.
The tough-on youth driving legislation was enforced last July following the deaths of three youths in a fatal car accident after spending the afternoon eating and drinking with friends at a restaurant in Port Carling, Ontario. Out of the four, only one survived after the Audi the youth was driving veered into a river killing three of the youths. The driver’s girlfriend survived after she managed to swim to shore.
Under the new regulations, drivers aged 21 and under cannot consume any alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Studies show people aged 19 to 21 are nearly 1.5 times more prone than older drivers to be involved in fatal crashes and injuries as a result of drinking and driving.
Drivers ages 21 and under found to have alcohol in their systems face an immediate 24-hour licence suspension at roadside, a fine of up to $500 and a 30-day licence suspension.
Zero tolerance applies to new drivers of all ages until they get their G2 licence, which can take upwards of two years to acquire.
The new rules are expected to decrease 15 to 25 per cent of impaired driving deaths of young people.
After Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Ontario is the fourth province to implement zero tolerance legislation for young and new drivers.
Meanwhile, on the lighter side, here are actual comments made by 16 Police Officers. The comments were taken off actual police car videos around the country:
1. "You know, stop lights don't come any redder than the one you just went through."
2. "Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch after you wear them a while."
3. "If you take your hands off the car, I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document."
4. "If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."
5. "Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second? Because that's the speed of the bullet that'll be chasing you." (LOVE IT)
6. "You don't know how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want to on the ticket, huh?" (MY FAVORITE)
7. "Yes, sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh, did I mention that I'm the shift supervisor?"
8. "Warning! You want a warning? O.K, I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket."
9. "The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"
10. "Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs and step in monkey poop."
11. "Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."
12. "In God we trust; all others we run through NCIC." ( National Crime Information Center )
13. "Just how big were those 'two beers' you say you had?"
14. "No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to, but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we can."
15. "I'm glad to hear that the Chief (of Police) is a personal friend of yours. So you know someone who can post your bail."
AND THE WINNER IS....
16. "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't. Sign here.