ORILLIA – “The staggering number of innocent people who die in alcohol or drug-related collisions tells us that minding our own business about impaired drivers is the wrong thing to do. When you see an impaired driver on the road, call 9-1-1. If you are out with someone who is impaired and about to drive, present them with an alternative. If they proceed to drive, call 9-1-1. As difficult as it may be to report someone you know to police, living with the decision not to is far worse if that driver goes on to kill someone or themselves in a crash.” says OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support.
“As we gather with family and friends this holiday season, let’s make safety a priority by planning ahead. Whether arranging for a designated driver, taking public transit, or suggesting alternate arrangements for someone you think is impaired – simple steps can ensure everybody arrives home safely,” adds Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
Over the past 15 years (since 2003), 987 people have died in preventable alcohol/drug-related collisions on Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-patrolled roads. Tragically, 464 (47 percent) of the 987 deceased were innocent victims in these crashes, while the other 523 (53 percent) were the at-fault impaired driver.
So far this year, 37 people have died in collisions linked to an alcohol or drug-impaired driver, 19 of whom were innocent victims. Sadly, 2017 marks the fourth consecutive year to see a higher number of innocent people killed than impaired drivers who caused the collision.
With the annual Festive “Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere” (R.I.D.E.) campaign getting underway this week, the OPP wants road users to take away an important message from their traffic fatality data.
DID YOU KNOW?
Through the OPP Drug Evaluation and Classification Program, officers are trained as Drug Recognition Evaluators, giving them the authority and tools needed to detect drug-impaired drivers.
As of October 2, 2016, Ontario legislation carries penalties for drug-impaired driving that match those already in place for alcohol-impaired drivers.
A Warn Range Suspension can be issued to drivers whose Blood Alcohol Concentration falls within the 0.05 to 0.08 range.