Did you know, YOU can report drunk drivers?

Two years ago, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver. In honor of Donna Jean Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

We all know that impaired driving is 100% preventable. But did you know that each and every one of us can play a significant role in eliminating impaired driving? We can….by taking it upon ourselves to call 911 anytime we suspect an impaired driver is on the road. I knew that conceptually but didn’t really get it…until I read this article by Jim Kenzie. He interviewed Arn Kashino on how to report a drunk driver and Arn’s words blew me away!

“But I witnessed a woman bleed to death when hit by a drunk driver, and I’d rather make the 911 call and be wrong than give another drunk driver a chance to kill someone else.”
Arn Kashino


There have been times when hubby and I have suspected an impaired driver in front of us but have hesitated reporting it because A) we weren’t 100% sure and B) we didn’t want this person to be stopped unnecessarily. No one wants to purposely cause someone to be detained for no reason nor do we want to waste police officers’ valuable time.

MADD Canada Campaign 911

MADD Canada’s Campaign 911 is a year-round, Canada-wide campaign that encourages and empowers the Canadian public to report suspected impaired driving by calling 911. According to MADD Canada, effective 911 programs have been found to increase arrest rates for impaired drivers by an average of 30%.

I’ve known about MADD Canada’s Campaign 911 for while now but until I read Jim’s article, I didn’t realize how vigilant I could be; what a strong role I could personally play in reducing impaired driving. I don’t have to be 100% sure. The person doesn’t have to be swerving right off the road. If I even SUSPECT someone is impaired, I’m encouraged to call and report it.

Arn’s point is so true! When it comes to impaired driving, it is better to be safe than sorry because lives are at stake.

Here are MADD Canada’s 10 possible signs of an impaired driver:

  1. Driving unreasonably fast, slow or at an inconsistent speed
  2. Drifting in and out of lanes
  3. Tailgating and changing lanes frequently
  4. Making exceptionally wide turns
  5. Changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance
  6. Overshooting or stopping well before stop signs or stop lights
  7. Disregarding signals and lights
  8. Approaching signals or leaving intersections too quickly or slowly
  9. Driving without headlights, failing to lower high beams or leaving turn signals on
  10. Driving with windows open in cold or inclement weather

When calling 911, either pull over or do so hands-free. Your driving may be compromised because you are concentrating on what someone else is doing and you are in a stressful situation so take special care to not tailgate, run red-light, or speed. It’s not your job to follow the person or to apprehend them. Make the call and then let the police do their job.

In the article Arn talked about what to expect when calling 911 and what you may be asked or may want to take note to share:

  • Your name and contact information (in case the connection is dropped or should you need to act as a witness if there is a court case)
  • Make, model and color of the car
  • Description of the car
  • Licence plate (if you can read it)
  • Description of the driver (if you got close enough)
  • How many people were in the car
  • What road you were on
  • What direction you were travelling
  • The nearest intersection
  • Road condition
  • What the driver was doing: weaving, bouncing off the curb, speeding up/slow down

I love Arn’s final line in the article

“Be a witness,” he says. “Not a statistic!” Arn Kashino

DAMN straight Arn – I hear you and will take your message to heart. Drunk drivers, you’ve been warned. I am on the look out and I will report anyone I suspect!

Have you ever called 911 and reported a suspected drunk driver? Would you now?

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), and on the Web.

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