Saskatchewan law enforcement was once again focused on the impaired driving problem. In its monthly Traffic Safety Spotlight, SGI notes that police reported 450 impaired driving offences for the month of March including:
· 250 Criminal Code charges
· 170 administrative roadside licence suspensions to experienced drivers
· 30 administrative roadside licence suspensions to new drivers
As part of the March Spotlight SGI reminded the public that the REAL legal limit in Saskatchewan is lower than .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). When drivers exceed provincial limits, they face consequences that include short-term licence suspensions and vehicle impoundments, along with demerits under the Safe Driver Recognition program and a requirement to attend a mandatory impaired driving education program. Drivers who exceed .08 BAC can be charged with an offence under the Criminal Code.
Criminal Code impaired driving offences carry even more serious consequences, including fines and potential incarceration, longer-term suspensions and vehicle impoundments, and mandatory Ignition Interlock when driving privileges are reinstated.
All impaired driving offences come with an immediate roadside licence suspension, vehicle impoundment, requirement to attend impaired driving education, and Safe Driver Recognition demerit points. Depending on the severity of the offence and the driver’s record, they could also face financial penalties, incarceration and be required to install a mandatory Ignition Interlock device.
SGI reminds everyone that when someone makes the choice to drive impaired, they’re choosing to make the roads less safe for themselves and everyone else on the road. Those using alcohol or drugs can keep themselves and others safe and stay out of trouble by finding a safe ride home. There are plenty of other options that won’t put yourself and others at risk. Plan to have a designated driver. Take a bus, cab or designated driving service. Call a loved one to pick you up, or stay the night.
Other results from March included:
· 509 tickets for seatbelt and occupant restraint offences;
· 4,709 tickets for speeding and aggressive driving offences; and
· 837 tickets issued for distracted driving, including 753 for using a cellphone while driving.