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Letter: Alcohol and driving a bad mix at any age

Impaired driving
Impaired driving

I’m writing this with regards to the new law in place for the tolerance of drinking under the influence.

I am 20 years old and I have had my licence for over four years now. I want to state that I am not writing this to argue that it should be acceptable to drive under the influence at any age, because I would never say that any amount of alcohol is acceptable to consume before driving a vehicle. But with regards to age I do believe this law can be misleading and disrespectful to those under the age of 22. I believe that it is unacceptable at any age — regardless of whether or not you are over the age of 22.

By specifying an age for alcohol tolerance you are disregarding younger drivers’ abilities, and there are many — including myself — who might find this offensive and an insult to their competence. No matter what age you are, it does not define if you should be eligible to drink and drive at all. For example, if you are over 22 and just received your licence, you have the same experience level as someone who is 16 and had just received their licence at that same time.

I believe that the law should be looked at in regards to a person’s height and weight, not age. Many adults over the age of 22 can be of equal or lesser height and weight than someone under this age; this would ultimately affect how much consumption of alcohol would be acceptable to consume before driving a vehicle. Bottom line is that no one should drive under the influence of alcohol, but as this is hard to control at times, I understand why laws are put in place to allow some justification for consumption. But it should not be defined by age but according to scientific reasoning, such as basing rules on height and weight.

Rather then placing an age on this, why not look at the length of time a driver has had their licence? Saying that at age 22 and up it is acceptable to drive after having a small amount of alcohol, is basically saying that younger drivers are more at risk for drinking and driving, which is not the case. It has been shown in past events that many more adults over this age have been arrested for impaired driving. Many of those over 22 years of age are still at the same risk of driving while under the influence as those who are underage.

Simply put, it is not fair to say that those who are under 22 are not capable of making the right decisions while under the influence.


Miranda Chafe

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