It is very sickening to watch stories on victims of drunk driving and the loved ones who have been left deeply affected and disturbed. All the blame is thrown at the drunk driver – and so it should be – but there is another party that, I believe, needs to share the responsibility.
The Alberta Government, under the banner of the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission (ALGC), needs to step up and begin taking responsibility for those involved in accidents involving liquor.
The province controls every aspect of purchasing and distributing liquor – distributing liquor to establishments for resale, regulating the hours liquor can be sold and the amount a person can drink – yet the person drinking is the only one held responsible.
The Alberta Government should be held liable, because it could lower the alcohol content of all alcoholic beverages in Alberta. The province could reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road by mandating that alcoholic drinks could only have an alcohol content of three, five or seven per cent.
We all claim to be social drinkers. If we lowered the percentage of alcohol in our drinks, those wishing to go out for an evening of fun could still do this. Partygoers would not be subject to having too much alcohol. Remember, when you go out for a drink, you do not get to choose the strength of the drink you are ordering. The bar purchased the alcohol from the ALGC and this is what they must serve. Yes, you might be able to order a double, or a combination of different liquors in one glass that makes it more potent and allows someone to get drunk quicker, but you do not have the option to order liquor that has a lower alcohol content.
If we are ever going to stop drunk drivers, we must limit the strength of the alcohol in every drink sold in bars, night clubs and at public social events. Social drinking would become exactly what it is meant to be, “social drinking,” and death on our highways might be eliminated or greatly reduced.
In the meantime, our Alberta Government – which has been apologizing to so many groups – should apologize to the families of those who have had loved ones killed by drunk drivers. The government supplied the alcohol. Eliminating drunk driving is completely in its control. If it wants to protect the innocent victims, it could reduce the strength of the alcohol it sells. Shouldn’t all Canadian governments do the same? If it was a drug or pill, there would be a class action law suit for this negligence.