A police car as a taxi? ICBC shares B.C.’s best designated driver stories
December 19, 2014
Mistaking a police car for a taxi, dropping an intoxicated friend off at the wrong house and getting cash tips from passengers who thought they were in a cab are just some of the experiences designated drivers across the province have shared with ICBC.
ICBC is sharing stories like these to raise awareness and encourage drivers to take their turn as the designated driver and plan a safe ride home if they’ll be drinking at holiday parties and get-togethers.
In the last five years, 11 people have been killed and 36 seriously injured in impaired driving related crashes in B.C. between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.*
The B.C. government, police and ICBC are reminding drivers that CounterAttack roadchecks are in full swing across the province to help keep impaired drivers off our roads during the holidays.
Here are the best stories shared by designated drivers in a recent survey:
“Many years ago in Prince George I was [doing a ridealong with the] RCMP. We were parked outside a bar. A person came out of the bar, opened the rear passenger door and sat down. Believing they were in a taxi they gave their address. The officer noted the address was close so he drove them home. When they tried to pay, the officer gave them his business card and said, “Tonight's ride is on us – thanks for calling a cab.” I guess in this case the RCMP was the designated driver and I have no doubt the next day many questions about the trip home must have been going through the passenger’s mind when they saw the police card.”
“I delivered an intoxicated friend to an address he gave me only to find out the next day that he didn't live there. The residents looked after him and I drove him to his actual home the next day.”
“I drove a couple of friends home after a Christmas party and neither one could remember how to get to their houses. We played ‘Does this look familiar?’ for over two hours in two different cities…”
“I was designated driver for my brother-in-law in Belgium this summer. I got to drive his Mercedes CLS 320. If only I had more friends with high-end or exotic cars. Anyone with a Porsche Turbo need a driver?”
“I was driving someone home and he was giving me directions. When we arrived, he got out and was met at the door by a woman who refused to let him in. Turns out, they had been divorced for two months and in his drunken condition, he forgot he no longer lived there.”
“Wife's 20-year reunion. Some of the occupants thought they were in a taxi and tried to pay me.”
“I was designated driver for twelve ladies celebrating a birthday. I rented a van and drove them to several bars. I was surrounded by all these beautiful women and they would only dance with me… I never had a better night in all my single life.”
“Listening to my friends sing ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ over and over again.”
“When my son called me at 3:00 am to get a ride home… He was in his late twenties and he said, "You know how you always told us when we were teenagers that you didn't care what time we called that you would give us a ride home rather than drink and drive, or drive with someone who was drinking? I never took you up on it, so I am calling in that offer now!"
Regional Christmas holiday statistics*
Every year during the Christmas holidays, an average of 220 people are injured in 640 crashes in the Lower Mainland.
Every year during the Christmas holidays, an average of 20 people are injured in 90 crashes in the North Central region.
Every year during the Christmas holidays, an average of 40 people are injured in 140 crashes in the Southern Interior.
Every year during the Christmas holidays, an average of 40 people are injured in 140 crashes on Vancouver Island.
Regional New Year’s Eve statistics*
Every year during New Year’s Eve, an average of 130 people are injured in 410 crashes in the Lower Mainland.
Every year during New Year’s Eve, an average of 10 people are injured in 50 crashes in the North Central region.
Every year during New Year’s Eve, an average of 30 people are injured in 100 crashes in the Southern Interior.
Every year during New Year’s Eve, an average of 30 people are injured in 90 crashes on Vancouver Island.
*Notes: Crashes and injured victims from ICBC data (2009 to 2013); fatal victims from police data (2009 to 2013). Impaired is defined to include alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines.
Christmas holiday is defined as 6 p.m. December 24 to midnight December 26. New Year’s Eve holiday is defined as 6 p.m. December 31 to midnight January 1 of the New Year. ‘Between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day’ is defined as 6 p.m. December 24 to midnight January 1 of the New Year.
A seriously injured victim refers to a road user who required at least one night in hospital as a result of injuries sustained in an impaired driving related crash.