Celebrating responsibly

Tis the season for celebrating – and that means inevitably a spike in partiers who have one drink too many and then decide they are fit to drive.

Recently, MADD Canada launched the 25th annual Project Red Ribbon with the aim of preventing impaired driving this holiday season. It’s just in time for the annual slate of office parties, family get-togethers and other functions to serve as a reminder of the importance of not drinking and driving.

Project Red Ribbon runs through to the first Monday after New Year’s, during which time MADD Canada volunteers are out in their communities distributing red ribbons to the public to attach to their vehicles, key chains, purses, briefcases and backpacks. Over one million ribbons are distributed to Canadians during Project Red Ribbon.

The ribbon reminds people to plan ahead for a safe ride home if they’re going to be drinking. It also serves as a tribute to those who have been killed or injured in impairment-related crashes.

It’s frustrating that the numbers of reported impaired drivers are as high as they are, in spite of constant educational and awareness campaigns and the tireless efforts of MADD volunteers. For some reason, people still choose to get behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking assuming they are in complete control. The cost to such irresponsibility is staggering.

Every year, between 1,250 and 1,500 people are killed and more than 63,000 are injured as a result of impaired driving, officials say. Even with the recent toughening of provincial laws, including the lowering of the legal blood alcohol limit, these numbers aren’t decreasing significantly as would be hoped.

In 2009, the last year for which numbers are available, it was estimated that 2,575 individuals were killed in motor vehicle crashes in Canada. MADD Canada estimates that at a minimum 1,074 of these fatalities were impairment-related.

However, in MADD Canada’s opinion, the 1,074 figure is a conservative estimate, due to the underreporting that results from the inability to test surviving impaired drivers and from the need to rely on police reports.

Officials remind citizens to never drive impaired or ride with an impaired driver. And if you see a driver you suspect is impaired, call 911 to report it.

Meanwhile, to avoid potential tragedy, it’s as easy as simply planning ahead by arranging for a designated driver, calling a cab or ensuring you have someone you trust to pick you up when it’s time to head home.

We hope all Red Deerians take time to make plans and choose wisely this holiday season when it comes to alcohol consumption.

Just Posted

Former opioid user tells his story

Innisfail’s Keira Vander Vliet gives his take on the opioid crisis

Cow Patti Theatre Company hits the mark with Here on the Flight Path

Shows run through to March 11th at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club

WCPS office hosts photography project honouring missing Indigenous women

REDress photo exhibition on display at Wolf Creek Public Schools office

Red Deer artist explores the cycles of Alberta through sculpture

Robin Lambert’s commentary on the province’s fagility is on at the MAG until March 18th

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

VIDEO: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

Petition wants fundraiser dropped for family of man cleared in Boushie’s death

Group says GoFundMe is profiting from the young Indigenous man’s death

Porch lights turn on for Canadian teen behind #BeccaToldMeTo movement

New Brunswick’s Rebecca Schofield had asked her Facebook followers to perform random acts of kindness

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

‘Black Panther’ blows away box office with $192M weekend

In estimates Sunday, Disney predicted a four-day holiday weekend of $218 million domestically and a global debut of $361 million.

Most Read