Breathalyzers in bars ~ what’s your vote?

I recently read a news piece on CBC about a Moncton businessman hoping to install breathalyzer machines in bars and nightclubs across the Maritimes. The man said he believed that the coin-operated machines could save lives because they’d educate customers and make them more aware (and thereby, hopefully more responsible for their actions).

He already has 2 in a club in Moncton. For $2, a person can get a blood alcohol content reading. Ideally if a person got a reading that was near or above the legal limit, they’d be less likely to take the chance and drive. The bar owner said that this type of things is very popular in Montreal and Toronto.

That being said, there’s always a flip side. A representative from CAA said in the article that people should be very careful relying on coin-operated breathalyzers because there’s no way to tell just how accurate they are. He said that people should take it as a clear indication that they shouldn’t drive if they felt the need to test themselves to begin with.

Hmmm…good point!

Reliability and liability. I know the police breathalyzers are maintained on a regular schedule to guarantee their reliability in a court of law. If I used one of these coin-operated machines and it said I was under the limit and then I drove, got stopped and blew over, I’d be pretty pissed!

In the article, an RCMP spokesperson said that people need to know that the only reading that counts is the one measured by police.

Touché!

Even still, I do think it’s a good thing. Especially if bar owners are willing to do some maintenance and care to ensure the machines are fairly accurate. I think anything that helps people take pause, for even a moment, to question whether they should drive is a step in the right direction. Maybe more often than not someone would decide it’s just not worth the risk.

I took part in the poll on CBC and was happy to see that (at that time) 72.85% (110 voters) agreed that bars should have coin-operated breathalyzers for patrons while only 27.15% (41 voters) disagreed.

What do you think?

The absolute best way to avoid risking blowing over is to commit to zero alcohol when you are driving.

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

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

More blog deliciousness here:

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I will Stride for Change ~ won’t you join me?

Thousands of Canadians are joining the fight to end impaired driving by participating in MADD Canada’s annual Strides for Change walk-a-thon. Events are held in communities across Canada from late spring through early summer.

The 5 km walk supports MADD Canada Chapters and Community Leaders in their efforts to educate and create awareness about the dangers of impaired driving as well as help victims in their community.

Hubby and I are super pumped to be taking part in the MADD Saint John event on June 2. I am sure you saw my post last week where I spoke at length about how MADD Canada and the MADD Saint John Chapter has been instrumental in supporting and helping my family heal through our devastating experience with impaired driving. Not to mention the tireless efforts MADD Canada makes towards advocating for tougher and more effective impaired driving policies and laws to ensure that our communities are safer.

It is both our honor and privilege to do whatever we can to bring awareness and to give back to an organization that does so much!

Now, the uberliciously cool thing; there are a bunch of ways YOU can take part as well; no matter where you live.

  1. First, if you live nearby and want to join hubby and I, just visit the website, sign up for the Saint John event, let us know, start gathering pledges, and on June 2, we’ll Stride for Change together!
  2. Second, if you live in Canada, check out the Strides for Change Calendar to find an event near you and sign-up.
  3. Third, if you aren’t in Canada or near a site, never fear. You can be a virtual walker by making a donation and then heading off and doing your own 5 km walk anytime, anyplace. How uber fabulous is that?!?! Be sure to let me know if you do so I can cheer you on!

If you want to support MADD Canada and Strides for Change by offering a pledge towards mine and hubby’s walk, that would rock (please do not feel obligated in any way). Here are the many ways we can make this happen:

  1. If you are located in either Fredericton or Saint John, NB, fire me an email (natalie at nataliehartford dot com) and I’ll make arrangements to pick up your pledge.
  2. You can send us a pledge via an email money transfer (if your bank supports that option) to natalie at nataliehartford dot com.
  3. Email me your intentions and follow-up with a cheque via snail mail (yip, there’s still such a thing): 65 Stirling Drive, Killarney Road, NB, E3A 9E9, Canada.
  4. Make an online donation via MADD Canada’s secure website here and put Hartford in the “I want to make a donation in support of the following Strides for Change participant” box. Be sure to send me an email and let me know you’ve made a donation because MADD Canada won’t be able to tell me donation amounts submitted this way until after the walk.

And if a financial pledge isn’t your thing, that is totally cool. You can join in the fun by visiting my comments section below and leaving us a great “Hoorah” note so we know that you are Striding for Change with us in spirit! We can always use lots of that!

What walk-a-thons have you taken part in? How does participating make you feel? Do you think they are effective at raising funds and awareness?

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

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

More blog deliciousness here:

Notice anything new with my blog?

The blog birthday bash revamp has commenced…

Last night I purchased my very own, personalized URL through WordPress. If you look up in the address bar, you’ll see it. I am now http://nataliehartford.com. I am so excited and it was so easy. A couple of clicks and it was done. And the nice thing is that WordPress will automatically redirect anyone coming to my old WordPress URL seamlessly.

It cost me $25 US (and it’ll need to be renewed each year) but to me it’s worth it. It’s a big step towards implementing the things I’ve been learning at Kristen Lamb’s Blogging to Build Your Brand workshop.

I have also created a URL-specific email to match (natalie@nataliehartford.com) through WordPress and Google Apps. This was a bit more complicated. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing but I just followed the WordPress step-by-step instructions and voila, it works.

I am so pumped!

Have you considered moving to your own URL? What made you decide to do it or what holds you back from taking that step?

I’ve also been working on a new header for the launch of my new theme/layout. I struggle with this because although I am familiar with graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, design is not my thing at all. I can typically “recreate” a visual but to start from scratch and come up with a concept hurts my brain. But, I did give it a try. I am still not 100% sure but I figure I’ve at least got something for the big blog birthday blowout and I can always change it later if I find it’s not quite “me”. I tried to make it fun, fresh, and fahhhbulous! I can’t wait to show it to y’all!

Sneak peek of my new header

Here’s a little sneak peek of the cartoon-type of image of myself that’s in my new header. Isn’t she uberlicious!?!

I updated my Avatar to match so when I post or add comments to other folks blog, this is the image that will appear to represent me.

What do you think?

Is it good branding to use the same image for the avatar that’s in a header to represent the person? Or do you think real pictures for avatars are better? What do you use and why?

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