Drink-driving affects everyone

THERE are two certainties in life: death and taxes. Well, you can add drink-driving into the mix as well. Sit in the Gladstone Magistrates Court every Friday session and for three to four hours there’s a constant stream of people facing court for drink-driving offences.

The stupid, the unrepentant, the blatant, the unlucky, each one has a different reason for being caught.

The magistrate listens to the facts outlined, takes factors such as early pleas into consideration, and hands down his decision.

The feeling of déjÀ vu every time he sits in the chair at the end of every week must be striking. There’s no let up. He repeatedly states there are too many drink-drivers in the Gladstone region.

Gladstone district Inspector Graham Coleman believes drink-driving is a community issue. Until the community deems it’s not acceptable for people who are over the limit to take to the streets, police can perform as many RBTs and enforce laws for people breaking them, but this won’t solve the problem.

Insp Coleman said any debate about drink-driving is good debate, even if it is about the merits of a drink-driving story featured in The Observer which may ruffle a few feathers. But in the end, a citizen did something wrong, and if they hadn’t driven, their name wouldn’t have appeared.

The story beginning our campaign in today’s edition is one officer recounting his attendance at a fatality resulting from drink-driving and what he was faced with in the aftermath.

His first reaction on the scene was one of anger. He spoke about the reasons behind his anger.

That anger has dissipated, now replaced with sorrow that may wane but will never disappear from this police officer’s life.

So, how many people read about a tragic accident, but never hear the gruesome details?

Here one day gone, the next, news articles are no different to people in that regard. People go back to their lives, their routines, and their driving habits.

The officer hoped the campaign would achieve what we at The Observer want it to do.

So do we. A dramatic drop in drink-driving.

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