It may be time for a refresher course for novice drivers when it comes to alcohol or cannabis use. Last year, 982 drivers had their licenses suspended for exceeding provincial limits on alcohol and drugs. A release from SGI states the proportions are disconcerting, considering new drivers make up just nine percent of licensed drivers in the province, but the group accounted for more than a third of impaired driving suspensions.  

“This isn’t about spoiling anyone’s good time; it’s about reminding all drivers, including new ones, that you’ve always got options to find a safe ride home,” said JP Cullen, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund. “Choosing not to drive impaired will keep you safe and keep you out of trouble.” 

As part of its Graduated Driver Licensing Program, a new driver is anyone in the program or aged 21 and under. Those under the graduated program can have no traces of alcohol or cannabis in their systems while operating a motor vehicle. Non-novice drivers cannot operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding .04. All drivers are subject to the province’s zero tolerance laws for drug-impaired driving.    

A release notes that roadside testing makes use of the latest technologies for measure both alcohol and drugs in the system. A positive result on either means a new driver will lose their license for at least 60 days, and the vehicle they were driving will be immediately impounded for three days. Administrative roadside suspensions also come with requirements to attend a mandatory impaired driver education course and four demerits under the Safe Driver Recognition program. The consequences increase for repeat offences.  


SGI also released its February Traffic Safety Spotlight results where Saskatchewan police reported:  

·         449 impaired driving offences, including 171 Criminal Code charges and 278 administrative suspensions.  

·         440 tickets for distracted driving, including 372 for using a cellphone while driving.  

·         245 occupant restraint tickets for not wearing a seatbelt, or not having children in the proper car seat or booster.   

·         3,694 tickets for other speeding or aggressive driving offences.