This is in response to the increase of alcohol related deaths on the New Brunswick highways in 2010 over 2009. In 2009 there were 57 highway related deaths , with 25% of them being related to drunk driving. In 2010, there were 73 deaths and 40% of them were due to this factor.
During this announcement, there were teenagers in the audience who lost their parents in 2006 in a drunk driving incident. The driver of the vehicle in a head on crash, Valmont LeBlance was given five years in prison for taking two lives.
There is a side note to this announcement also. A fellow New Brunswicker, Vincent Reid had been arrested right around the time of this new law for the fifth time. This time in a head on incident that took the life of Troy Bridges.
While the initiative of contributing to saving lives should be celebrated, this was not the case with certain business owners. Several bar and dining room owners gave resistance to this new law as it had potential to effect their overall sales. Many pointed out that customer would not know how much they would be able to drink to have their limit at the .05 blood alcohol levels, therefore there would be less people out drinking.
Wine expert, Craig Pinhey was quoted in reference to this new change as follows:
“It's unreasonable to expect people to walk everywhere or pay cabs everywhere. I can't afford it and I don't know many people who can...People are going to drink at home instead.”
There is a certain level of expectation that if a person is going to be able to afford drinks with friends, they would be able to think ahead about how they are going to get home safely. The large majority of people do this regularly.
These business owners, also, would not even think of the dollars lost if they were the teenagers present when their parents were killed by a drunk driver or the wife and family of Troy Bridges.
The perfect way to put this into perspective for these business owners would be to ask them to wake up the families in the middle of the night to explain to them how a family member was lost. The look on the families’ faces would let them know that the bottom line of a sales receipt is not close to being important.