Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Could we?

The Hooded Tomb in Trelawnyd Graveyard

A year or two ago, as I was entering the village shop a guy passed me and rather unsteadily got into a works van and drove off. He smelled strongly of drink and had a newly purchased bottle of wine in his hand. It was 9.30 in the morning.
I went home and rang the police, and had no qualms in doing so.To me it was a no brainer,

Yesterday I was speaking to someone who voiced similar fears about a neighbour of theirs who was driving to a local shop several times a day for alcohol. They were unsure of just how to deal with what they were witnessing on a daily basis and were seriously thinking of reporting the matter to the police.but had some reservations, many of which I could understand. 

Having said this, I would report a drunk on the roads no matter what the ramifications may be., especially if the person involved is drinking to excess and driving several times a day. Escalating behaviour like this means an accident is almost inevitable at some time, especially on fast, narrow country roads.

Gawd, how things have changed since I was a kid. Then it was perfectly acceptable for my mother with ten year old twins to climb into my father's massive Granada when he picked us up after babysitting my nephews on a Saturday night. He had spent a merry time drinking at the Conservative club and although not falling down pissed, he would, quite acceptably be a few "sheets to the wind!" so to speak
The hair raising seven minute journey from my sister's house back home would be completed at rally car speeds where my sister and I would be practically weightless in the back of the car as my father negotiated the Prestatyn's hump back railway bridge doing 65.

But things have changed, and they have changed for the better, Despite increases in the drink driving rates over recent times, we could never return to the glory days of the 1970s when driving home after a few jars in a country pub was acceptable.
Could we?


29 comments:

  1. My grandfather was a major alcoholic. And we drove with him everywhere. Who knew? I agree, things have changed for the better.
    m.

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  2. I'm ashamed to say that my own father was a drink driver. Until one day he drove his beloved 2.4 wire wheeled black-cat Jag into a ditch. He was reprimanded by the police who told him that if he ever wanted to drive again, he'd have to take (and pass) his driving test.... he never did, and my mother drove us everywhere.

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  3. We all had parents who drove to the pub, drank, and drove home, although I must admit to never seeing my dad legless, just happy.
    We would anticipate the hump back bridge and encourage dad to drive faster, and then your stomach would come up in mouth like on the mad-mouse :)
    We liked to ride on the back window too, and later in the back of the work truck, no seatbelts...no worries :)
    Yes, times they have changed.
    Great post.
    ~Jo

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  4. It was perfectly acceptable to drink and drive ,and cars didn't have seatbelts...how the heck did we survive!
    Now, I am shocked if any one has a couple of wobbly pops then drives.
    Jane x

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  5. I agree that the changes are for the better but curious...

    I wonder if the accident rate from drunk drivers has decreased as a result of these changes. That certainly doesn't seem to be the case.

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  6. The laws are trying to make it safer for the rest of us on the road but it seems like there are some who live to defy the law.

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  7. My friends always complained that my parents never did their share of driving to and from dances, parties etc before we were old enough to drive. Given that the only time my mother ever tied to drive a vehicle she crashed it into a wall (we won;t even let her have a power wheelchair now) I had to resort to asking my father for a ride to a school dance for my friends and I. After a harrowing ride partially on the sidewalk, it was never mentioned again that my father should drive us. He had a drunk driving charge and I had to go bail him out. He would drive 200 yards from home to the pub and back every day.

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  8. My dad never drank and drove, but I do have a memory of him weaving very uncertainly on a rickety old bicycle, home from the pub on a Saturday afternoon. Surprised he always made it in one piece! Things have definitely changed for the better.

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  9. The law has changed. Behavior hasn't. Speaking stateside, anyway. It takes too many incidents for licenses to be revoked. Can't revoke the automobile of a drunk with no license, though. Or instill personal responsibility.

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  10. There are many things which are no longer acceptable to the general population...calling grown women girls, pouring motor oil down the drain, drowning unwanted kittens, firing folks for their appearance, race, religion, etc. Not that these things don't happen, but they're driven into hiding. I'd like to think it's progress of a sort. Especially for the kittens!

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  11. It's a good job things have changed and drink-driving is now generally regarded as unacceptable. I remember when I was a teenager driving my girlfriend home one night when I was totally drunk. How we escaped serious injury I shall never know.

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  12. There are those who wish to try, and others who will speak against drunk driving most emphatically yet try to text and drive.

    It's been many moons ago now, but yes i've been under the influence several times whilst driving--usually because i was the soberest one, although i didn't make it a habit and am grateful that we always got to our destination safely and accident-free.

    I don't know if the rates have increased as much as we're now tracking it much more closely. Also, in some places, the legal limit has been lowered, resulting in more drunk drivers; however many of those wouldn't have been considered drunk with the higher limits.

    megan

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  13. There were less cars on the road John and somehow they didn't seem to drive so fast (or maybe couldn't) but I do agree with you that any drink/driver shoule be reported - no good being wise after the event of a fatal accident.

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  14. I couldn't agree more, once a person has been drinking then they don't need to be driving!

    Those photos are lovely.

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  15. I live in absolute dread of knocking down someone in my car, even if they just run out into the road without warning. This is probably a needles dread, and I hope it stays needless. I have driven over the limit in the past, and I am far from proud of it, but I think it's best to admit having done so.

    Could I blow the whistle on a suspect drunk driver? I have wrestled the keys from them in the past too, but I don't know.

    I do know that if a drunk killed a loved one of mine whilst driving, I would have a hard job not to hunt them down and administer my own justice, so I guess I could.

    In the Highlands of Scotland, you sort of have to drive (down deserted roads) if you live on your own and want a social life. I don't know if this is an excuse or not.

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  16. when I was 24 and lived in york I drank and drove home after a night out with my fellow nurses.
    The ward sister worked out what I had done the next morning, took me into her office and wiped the floor, walls, ceilings etc with me
    I will never forget the shame I felt....never again

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  17. I have heard of so many people who think they are perfectly fine after a few drinks, and then drive their cars and are stopped by a policeman. Their license is revoked and forever they have the reputation of being a drunk driver. They were doing it for years and never thought they would be caught. Then there are the ones that hurt themselves, their loved ones and strangers. How do they live with themselves afterwards?

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  18. You're right. It's a no brainer. Drink drivers are a danger to everybody around them - not just those in the car.

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  19. I certainly hope not! The tougher the laws, the better.

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  20. The number of drivers I see wandering and weaving around the roads whilst on their mobible phones, drunk or not, are an absolute menace.

    And they never seem to get caught.

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  21. Although I never drink and drive, I know that I'd be perfectly fine driving after three or four pints. Certainly much safer than somebody smoking a fag or yapping on their stupid mobile. I am not saying this as some macho expression of bravado. I just know that I'd be fine. After six pints, I'd admit my head wouldn't be right for driving anywhere.

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  22. I still know people who drink & drive, and drink while they are driving ... shame for shame you'd think they would know better at this stage of the game, wouldn't you. I still *shake* my head at them all.

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  23. Drinking and driving...a DEADly combination!

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  24. Once knew a barrister, top 'Silk', back a few decades now when the world was a lot smaller, who drove a Rolls Royce around Canberra City. He was a 2 bottles of scotch a day man, but well conditioned to alcohol, so much so I think that he was merely "topping up" a high BAL everyday. Story goes that he was weaving his way home one night when a motorcycle police officer pulled him over and gave him the old 'Breath into the tube' test (Those were the days of the yellow crystals in the glass tube that turned green or some such if positive). The guy went off the radar for BAL and the police officer informed him so. He reached into the glovebox, pulled out 500 quid in a roll of small notes and said

    "I know on your salary you could put this to good use. You charge me and we go to caught and I'll beat the charge. Then I'll have a yarn to the Commissioner (Federal Police) and see if we can't find you a nice new posting - say Maralinga Atomic Testing Grounds in the desert country!"

    No record of what the outcome was but I still saw him driving around in the same state for years after that - until his liver finally expired on him!

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  25. As a cyclops, I don't ever drink and drive. I'm legally blind in one eye and have limited enough depth perception as it is -- my one eye must work for two and I can't imagine seeing double with it while on the road. What I don't understand is why cars are produced that well-exceed the speed limit? And who the freak are these immortals who drive them and roar past me as I tootle along at 55 mph? It hardly matters if they are drunk or sober...it's too fast.

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  26. It is better. Safer and more sensible.

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  27. My Dad had an accident and rolled his car in the 60s when he drove home drunk. Luckily he didn't kill himself or anyone else.

    These days there's absolutely no excuse for it, but people still insist on getting into their cars and threatening lives. I would never hesitate to call the police over a drunk driver.

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  28. Oh, and I am totally against people texting and driving or talking on the phone while driving. Stats have proven how dangerous those distractions can be. I can barely bring myself to adjust the radio volume when I'm behind the wheel.

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  29. When I started driving, my father would always say he could not understand me going to the pub and not having a drink! Like an alien concept..... He also did say that if he ever caught me drinking and driving he would give me a thrashing (no matter how old I was) and take my car away! LOL I never did drink and drive :o)

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