Gordon F Kells received a visit from two SGI safety squad workers last Thursday.
Each class and grade level had the chance to listen to young adult workers talk to them about impaired driving on an understanding level. The discussion was not a lecture, but rather informative and encouraged kids to bring up their concerns and gave them the information they will need to be responsible drivers.
Although the legal blood alcohol limit in Saskatchewan is .04 and can result in a license suspension, the federal punishments are more severe. Once you blow over .08 and above you are now able to be charged with a criminal offence provincially. Criminal offences are things like murder and theft. You can go to jail and also get your car impounded! With a learner's license, there is a zero alcohol tolerance level.
Parents and designated drivers are the best ways to prevent drinking and driving. If you are in the city you can even call a cab.
“You can sleep in your car, but never keep your keys on you or sleep in the drivers seat because that can also get you a ticket for drinking or driving,” explained Toni Colquhoun, member of the SGI safety squad. “Cops can predict that you might eventually drink and drive. It's another form of impaired driving.”
Drugs also have the same effects on your license as alcohol. There is no BAC test, but other signs cops look for are enough to get your license taken away. The number one sign a cop will look for is the smell of marijuana. The smell is pungent, it clings to your clothes and the material in your cars. Spraying yourself with Axe or perfume will not cover it up, it only makes it worse. The second thing cops look for is cotton mouth, no matter how much water you drink it is still going to be there. The third thing is dilated pupils, your pupils will get bigger. Even a whole bottle of Visine will not make that go away.
“Drinking lots of water to sober up doesn't actually work,” said Colquhon. “It won't lower your blood alcohol levels. it just makes you need to pee a lot. “
For every one ounce or shot of alcohol you drink it takes one hour to leave your body. If you drink a whole mickey in a night, it is going to take 13 active hours to get out of your blood. This does not include the time you are sleeping. If you go home and go right to sleep after a night of drinking, you can still blow above the legal limit the next day when being pulled over. You are still technically intoxicated, even if you do not feel the outward affects.
Another form of distracted driving amongst the younger generation is texting and driving. People try to text sneakily under the steering wheel or in the passenger seat. The majority of people are already doing at least five things while driving like; talking to your passengers, listening to your ipod, paying attention to the signs and pedestrians and scanning your rear views.
“If a kid runs into the road you will not be able to react fast enough while texting to stop,” said Raj Matheru, SGI safety squad member.
After the active discussion between the SGI employees and students, each student was given the opportunity to participate in an obstacle course. This course included three different levels of drunk goggles, which are used to demonstrate the effects on the brain and your vision caused by alcohol.
Students were instantly shocked at the results.
“It didn't seem so bad at first.” said Shelbey McNair, GFK student. “But when you notice how off your perception is, and how much objects have shifted to the side, it's easy to see the dangers of driving like that.”