Monthly Archives: August 2013

I call “Bummyhead”

I have another campaign that I’d like to start that everyone can be a part of.  I’m going to call it the “Bummyhead Campaign”.   I was going to call it the “Bullshit Campaign” but then realized that not everyone would be comfortable saying Bullshit, so I went with Gracie’s worst insult at 3 years old.

We have been sold a false bill of goods in this country and we haven’t questioned it.  The story that we have been led to believe is that we are all potential drunk drivers because we all have access to cars and alcohol. (I guess we should be thankful that we don’t all have access to guns and bullets otherwise it would be the Wild West out there.  And I guess that we should be glad that we don’t all have access to other people’s belongings otherwise we’d all be stealing from each other.  After all, apparently none of us has any self control).  The truth of the matter is that most of us will never drive drunk a) because we would never want to harm ourselves or someone else b) because it is the law or c) because are perfectly capable of making a responsible choice even before we have our first drink.

So the real truth of the matter is that we are all potential victims of drunk drivers.  If you are on the road at any given time of the day or night, someone you pass will be a drunk driver. Just because they manage to not hit you and injure or kill you does not make what they’re doing any more right.  They have made a choice that it is okay to play Russian Roulette with your life and the lives of your loved ones.

The idea to the “Bummyhead Campaign” is to bust as many of the myths about drunk driving/drivers as possible.  The name Mythbusters was taken, hence Bummyhead.  The next time someone presents you with one of these myths I am giving you permission to call them a Bummyhead (or Bullshit if you prefer) and explain to them that you know the truth.

The first myth is the two-drink defence (as it is known to police officers across the country).  Come on admit it, we’ve all heard it.  “The law sucks, man.  I only had two drinks while I was watching the game/after work/hanging out (pick one, any one) and I got charged with Over .08.  I wasn’t anywhere near drunk.  I just hadn’t had enough sleep that night.”

The average hockey game (yes, I’m using the standard time interval that all Canadians understand) is 3 hours.

  • 170 pound man/5 beers/3 hours/.068
  • 170 pound man/9 beers/3 hours/.16
  • 210 pound man/5 beers/3 hours/.045
  • 210 pound man/7 beers/3 hours/.084
  • 210 pound man/11 beers/3 hours/.16
  • 120 pound woman/3 wine/3 hours/.04
  • 120 pound woman/6 wine/3 hours/.16
  • 160 pound woman/4 wine/3 hours/.04
  • 160 pound woman/9 wine/3 hours/.15

Only 4 things affect a persons’ BAC.  Their gender, their weight, the number of hours that they have been drinking and how many drinks they have consumed.  The amount of food has some affect but not a lot.

So, as you can see, no  one has 2 drinks to get over .08.  not even close.  Also, for the record, a bottle of wine is between 4 and 5 servings, so when a woman registers at .13 BAC after 3 hours of drinking at a public function and then says she is sorry for her mistake.  She should never have had that extra glass of wine – one wonders if her glass of wine wasn’t more of a bottle  with a straw shape.

As for the mens’ weights that I picked, well if you have ever met my family you would understand that I came from a long line of leprechauns but married into a family of trees.  As for the womens’ weights, myth has it that there are 120 pound women out there (probably hanging out with the leprechauns) even if we can’t see them.

 

I am somebody

I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that.  Then I realized that I was somebody. – Lily Tomlin

There is a commonality that I have discovered between parents that have lost their children.  Despite different ethnicities, religions, age, country or province, spiritual beliefs, we all believe that someday we will see our lost (stolen) children again.  We may disagree on when, where or how and it will never be the same as holding them here and watching them grow up/grow old but ultimately we will see them again.

I very much believe this.  I don’t know when, where or how (still) but I will see Gracie again.  When I do die, she will be there to greet me and I have two choices of greetings from her.

The first is, “Mom I am so proud of what you accomplished and I really missed you.”

The second is, “Mom, why didn’t you do something to change things for other people.  You had a second chance to make things right for other families and you wasted it.”

I don’t know about you but I always wanted my daughters to be proud of me and I really don’t want to hear the first one.

The fact of the matter is that nothing that I do here will bring back my daughter, or your child, your your sibling, your mother, your father,or your aunt, or your uncle, your cousin, your friend but I can’t accept that we have to just sit by and allow other people to be thrown into the same pit we were thrown into.

So, I am asking you to be “somebody” with me.

The Definition of Accident

Today, I wanted to start with a word that I hear all the time – accident.  “I’m so sorry to hear about your ACCIDENT.”,  “How are you doing since the ACCIDENT.”, “Grace died in an ACCIDENT” (by the way she was killed.  she was a perfectly healthy 11 year old girl who had never spent a day in the hospital – not even the day she was born- I will tell that story on a day that everyone needs a good laugh).

A few months after the CRASH (that would be the correct wording), I was so angry one day that I decided to look up the definition of accident in one of the online dictionaries. I wish that I had written down which one and I’m sure that many people will be able to find many contradictory definitions to mine as well as some similar ones but I liked this one so I wrote it down and read it every day until I could recite it ( about a year – the crash left me with scrambled eggs for memory).

Accident – An event that occurs due to unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances.

The way I see it as soon as you introduce a Drunk Driver, it can no longer be referred to as an accident.  Alcohol slows down reaction time, generally increases speed and greatly affects reaction time.  There have been so many studies on this.  If you can’t read, there’s even an episode on MythBusters about it where they show how bad it affects a driver.  Therefore, the outcome is not unforeseen.

As of yet, I haven’t heard of one Drunk Driver that was held down, forced to ingest copious amounts of alcohol and then tied to the steering wheel with a brick on the gas pedal and made to drive home at gun point.  Therefore, I’m pretty sure uncontrollable circumstances can be ruled out.

Therefore, it is never an accident when a Drunk Driver is involved.  First Responders, the medical community, police, even the insurance industry (yes, I am giving them kudos for this. Not much else mind you, but even THEY have figured this much out)  all you the term MVC , standing for Motor Vehicle Collision or Motor Vehicle Crash.  As of yet, the only ones that I have crossed paths with that insist of using the term ACCIDENT, are Crown Attorneys, Defence Attorneys and Judges.

The average public doesn’t know, so I correct them.  Maybe that is the advantage of a major brain trauma. I really don’t care if they’re offended by my correction.  I’m not impolite.  I explain to them why it is so important.  I also usually drop in a couple of sad facts about Drinking and Driving in Canada and also the name of their MP and MPP before the conversation is over.

Canadians want this to change.  They need this to change.  They just don’t understand the scope of the problem.  Again, send me shoes so that I can put a visual to the problem.  If I have my way, our politicians will have to wade through the shoes of the victims to get to their offices.

So remember the definition of ACCIDENT.  If you are tired of repeating yourself, get it printed on a t-shirt.  Or write it on a pair of shoes.  But do not let them change the English language to whitewash this crime.

Hello Everyone

Hello Everyone

My name is Julie.  I wanted to take this first entry to explain what this site is about and why I set it up (okay, I asked my lovely husband to set it up for me) .  Like most Canadians, I was living my life, raising my 2 daughters, Hannah and Grace, driving them to school, dance, music, theatre rehearsals.  All of the normal day to day things that we all do each and every day.   Until the evening of October 21, 2010.  Then our world exploded in a violent and brutal crash.  Grace and I were t-boned by a Drunk Driver (I choose not to use Impaired, but I will explain that another day).  5 days later, I woke up from a coma to be told that my daughter Grace would not wake up from her injuries.  My daughter was going to die from her injuries and nothing could be done.  Grace was a fun loving, bright 11 year old.

I have been trying to figure out how to make people realize how bad it really is and just how many people are victims of this violent crime (and frankly of the court system – but again- another blog, another day) .  The truth of the matter is that it is not just those of us that were hit by the Drunk Drivers that are the victims but every single person that loved/loves the physical victim.  My daughter, Hannah is a victim of this crime. My husband (Grace’s father ) is a victim of this crime.  Gracie’s four grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends, school friends, dance friends, theatre buddies, school teachers, dance teachers, friends’ parents, community members are all victims of this crime.  For each physical victim, there are hundreds of others that are victims of this crime.

I want to give us all a voice. I was trying to think of some way to make an impact, like the AIDS quilt.  I remember when they started to unfold that big quilt to show how many victims there were.  I finally realized what it should be when I was going through Gracie’s room last year.  In Grade 5, her friends had decorated her shoes – kind of like signing a year book.  A simple pair of white canvas shoes decorated in markers with drawings and names.  A pair of shoes that no one will ever wear again.  A pair of empty shoes that sits on her shelf in her room.

What I would like from you;  if are a person that has lost someone to a Drunk Driver get a pair of shoes that best represents your loved one (white canvas, ballet, basketball, stilettos) anything that you want and to decorate them accordingly.  I do not want a pair of their shoes.  I would never ask family to give those up.  I want you to be creative and create a pair of shoes that they would love to wear but will remain empty.

Along with the shoes, send a picture, and a letter about them (or you, if you survived like me).  I would like to take them to Ottawa and lay them out like the AIDs quilt and make our politicians and fellow Canadians realize what a huge problem this has become and that it is truly a violent crime that rips our loved ones away from us on a daily basis.  I am hoping to do this in October on the 3rd anniversary of our crash.  I know that isn’t fair to everyone but I wanted to pick a time when parliament is actually seated and at this time of year, I get a surge of extra energy that has to go somewhere (I know that you understand that if you are reading this).  I will post a shipping address at a later date.