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Get it through your head: Drunk driving is WRONG!

January 9, 2012

There is nothing in the world that can derail your thoughts more than something that you loathe.

I have an entry ready to go regarding a war memory from the Mr.’s grandfather, but that has been put aside for the moment to address the epidemic of drinking and driving in Finland.

I have long maintained that drinking and driving is a problem in this country. On January 3 an 11 year-old girl in Helsinki lost her life at the hands of a drunk driver in a hit and run – a repeat offender according to media reports. The 25 year-old man was driving with an apparently valid licence and registered a blood-alcohol-level of 2.25 when he was apprehended by police on January 3. He has been remanded in custody.

Let the rant begin…

The Finnish media reports on drunk drivers on a regular basis and in fact it is a miracle that nothing worse has happened on the roads of Finland. I am waiting for the day when a drunk driver in Finland kills many people in one incident – and it will come…

Perhaps I have blinders on and the high incidence of drunk driving clouds my eyes because it makes me see red. My great aunt was killed by a drunk driver in 1997 – it broke my grandmother’s heart.

Drinking and driving is out of control in this country. Why does Finnish society seem to find it so acceptable? Why is there no angry protest towards this despicable behaviour?

Why is our government unwilling to do more to met out tougher punishments or have the balls to lower the threshold for the blood alcohol limit when driving a vehicle? (from 0.5 to 0.2 parts per thousand- or from .05 to .02 for those who recognize a different system of stating the numbers) The punishments given for drinking and driving are a joke – licence suspensions and often no jail time. Unfortunately the hands of law enforcement are tied – ramping up the punishments for drunk drivers sits squarely in the hands of the Finnish government.

The Finnish government has been dilly-dallying for YEARS on the issue. Any changes to the legislation will come too little too late for the families of those who have died at the hands of a drunk driver.

  • So – how about imposing life time bans on drivers who have killed others while driving drunk. Driving is a privilege, not a right!
  • How about imposing community service on offenders?
  • How about HUGE fines or garnisheed wages for drunk drivers convicted of drinking and driving causing death with proceeds going to victims’ families?

We need a change in attitude towards drinking in Finland too – only then will attitudes harden towards this problem.

->> I have another proposal: Currently DUI offenders are not named, neither are the victims. Will attitudes harden if we get to know the victims whose lives have been cut short by these IDIOTS who insist on getting behind the wheel while drunk?

One life lost in this deplorable manner is one too many.

Read more in reports from Helsingin Sanomat on January 4, 2012 and January 5, 2012

One Comment leave one →
  1. Michael Child permalink
    January 9, 2012 10:11 pm

    I say rant on!

    It could also be mentioned that the drunk in question has at least two previous convictions for drunk driving. And he is just 25 years old.

    Imagine for a second a strange force that entered this or any other country and killed about 70 people per year and injured a further 2000. What sort of reaction would there be to such a force? Again, these are annual numbers. So, how much money and energy would be diverted towards such a threat? Billions perhaps? What sort of attitudes would people have towards such a threat? We all know the answers.

    Yet, nations all over the world ignore the very real and continuous threat of drunk driving.I will never understand why this is so.

    I have often applauded the success of Finland’s rather light punishments for crimes. It’s hard to argue with the results. There is very little serious crime here, all things considered. However, I absolutely agree that something has to change with drunk driving laws and punishments. I certainly hope that the limit is reduced to 0.25, something which is at least being considered in government. I also wholeheartedly agree that more drunk drivers (if not all) should be serving time in prisons and that they should be named in the media.

    It was only a few years ago (in 2002) in Helsinki that another innocent young girl was killed by a drunk driver at a pedestrian crossing in Helsinki. Since that time there have been hundreds of equally tragic losses all around the country (and the thousands around the world).

    How many more will it take to give this issue the attention it deserves?

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