Dog day afternoons – drinking violations – 11 DUIs in Kawartha last weekend

You’re drunk and you’re goin’ to jail

By Terrance Gavan – The courts

As part of my mandate to disseminate the news I get police reports from all round the county and beyond.

The OPP are on the roads this summer and be glad they are. We have been told that people are smarter these days vis a vis drinking and driving.

For a time back in the late nineties and early 2000s that was true. But over the last five years we’ve been witnessing a nasty trend.

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Don't drink and drive y'all. I'll drag your ass to rehab! Photo by Duke Snider.

Upward. Are people getting braver? Or dumber? Or both.

Last weekend the OPP caught 11 DUIs in the Kawartha area. Eleven? That’s bloody crazy. Maybe it’s the heat? And the beer? Or maybe, it’s part of that crazy bell curve.

I hear so many people today lamenting the good old days before the drinking and driving regs put so much onus on that drive home.

I can remember numerous times where I got into a car of a friend.

At no time did I do a beer count.

I trusted my friends back then.

My assumption back in the good old days? If they could walk they could drive baby.

“Let’s git ‘er done.”

I have been in cars with friends that I know had consumed 12 beers.

That sounds odd today.

Some of my friends were good drinkers and some of them not so good drinkers.

Point is. Back then in high school and university we didn’t have any idea about the implications.

I have a friend who lost the use of his right arm after being involved in a car acident in high school. I personally know six high school friends from Manitoba who never made it out of a car after accepting a ride. Or popping the keys in the ignition.

My own history of drinking and driving? Jeez. You do not want to know. By some fluke and the kind hand of a guardian angel I am alive today.

I woke up one night in the middle of a barley field. When I say the middle of a barley field I mean the middle of a barley field. I was up against the edge of an oak bluff the engine still running and the sun just peeking over a grain elevator in the distance. I had experienced a blackout. One of the many blurred recollections of  a life spent in the topsy turvy world of the practicing alcoholic.

I, to this day, cannot remember how I got there. I traced the tracks back about 600 yards, through a two line barbed wire fence and back up to the edge of the highway. The ditches are lovely in the prairies. Gentle. If I was here in the Highlands. I would probably be a cross with flowers on the side of an outcrop. A red dot on the Canadian Shield.

I had a hammer and staples in the car and I repaired the fence at 5:30 am.

An incident like that should prompt some sober second thought and a solid perusal of one’s lifestyle. But that same night I drove four people home from a wedding dance. Not in a blackout. But damn close.

These are not god moments for me. Placing shit like this down.

Because I’m sober 13 plus years and I’m not that guy.

However, I know some guys that you should know. Some reformed drunks that weren’t quite as lucky as me.

They went off the road and they killed people.


And their lives are plagued by ongoing nightmares. They still see the faces and the blood and the twisted metal of their victim’s cars.

They sweat through their bedsheets when they get these dreams.

I’ve watched them cry while they share their stories.

The bottle you can beat.

The memories you can’t.

So take a lesson from some guys I know.

Next time you decide to take your fecking ego out for a spin after a night on the town?

Do us all a favor and call for a cab. Or do like I used to do.

Just find yourself an open barley field and pass the hell out. Please!

At the point of that decision you make to git er done after a night of drinking. You become a waste of human space and a despicable piss ant. And a danger to society. You are a serial killer waiting for your front page.

That’s from the heart and it comes with love, peace and ripe bananas.

I do this every summer knuckleheads so don’t take it personally.