What is Impaired Driving

DUI is not a Christmas Gift

It has official begun, the season of impaired driving. The media is out in full force warning people about the effects of drinking and driving and not to do it. And on the other side of the fence is the giant alcohol producing moguls with TV ads and print ads to purchase their product for this holiday season. The wine producers are pumping out the boxes of red and white wine in astronomic numbers to supply the many households in order to help digest the large amount of food being consumed.

On one hand you have those who produce a product to get you impaired and on the other you have the organizations that tell don’t drink and drive, yet every year there are death and maimed people due to drinking and driving. Only in a degraded society can you find such insanity. The real question is what is meant by impaired? Collins dictionary defines impaired as: reduced or weakened in strength, quality, etc. the legal definition is: The federal Criminal Code sets out impaired driving offences, enforcement procedures and penalties. These laws are based on the .08% BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) legal limit and most provinces and territories, for example, have license suspensions at the .05% BAC level, .00% BAC requirements for young and novice drivers (source MAAD)

You will notice that this is all based on blood alcohol content level. It does not note about other substances that can impair one’s ability to drive. Many people who use drugs will not show up on the BAC detector. For instance marijuana will cause attention lapses, moments of being in a daze, fixations. Cocaine will excite and can bring about scattered attention, anxiety while behind the wheel. When taking prescription drugs the effects are so diverse that any number of impaired issues can arise.

Drugs affect the person’s mental and physical ability to react. In some cases the reaction time is slowed down in other cases it is accelerated. All drugs are known to affect attention to greater or lesser degree. Most people take drugs to counter some unwanted condition, whether physical or mental. Drugs tend to cut off the connection between the person’s awareness and their unwanted condition this is why drugs are desirable, even if only temporary. By cutting off awareness it only makes sense that you are less able to be aware of the existing environment around thus the definition of the dictionary above applies to drug use and operating a motor vehicle.

This holiday season you may refuse to drink but if you replace this with drugs of any sort you are still impaired and even though some law enforcement officers don’t have the most recent equipment to detect your state of mind, you know and the rest of society is at risk; including you.

What purpose does Alcohol or drugs serve during the holiday season? From overwhelming documentation over the years you can conclude it serve no purpose for survival at all, except to escape the daily toil of living, even if just for a short period; to disconnect from the serious ordeal of living in a society that is bent on, work, make money, pay bills, etc. believe me there is more to living than that. Pleasure and happiness are achieved by setting goals and attaining them. The ultimate goal would be total freedom with the choice to play or not to play.

This holiday season enjoy family and friends for who and what they are. Leave out the mind altering substances, you may be surprise at how much happier you will be.