Thunder Bay – NEWS – Thunder Bay drivers could be helping set a dubious record in 2021. Thunder Bay Police spokesperson Scott Paradis says, “Last year’s record-breaking volume of impaired driving incidents may not have been an anomaly, but instead a sad new normal for the City of Thunder Bay”.
According to updated statistics from the Thunder Bay Police Service’s Traffic Unit, which shows the number of impaired driving charges laid by officers in 2021 is nearly on pace to repeat 2020’s record year. In 2020, TBPS officers laid 299 charges related to impaired driving, 95 more than the 204 recorded in 2019. In 2021, as of Nov. 24, police have laid 220 charges related to impaired driving.
Of the 220 charges, 102 have been driver’s impaired by drug, and eight involved impaired motorists who refused to provide breath samples. By Nov. 24 of 2020, police had recorded 112 impaired by drug incidents. In 2019 that number was 39.
The TBPS Traffic Unit revealed the new statistics during the 2021 Festive RIDE official media launch, which was held Friday afternoon. The media event featured the season’s first Festive RIDE spot check and included members of the OPP, and Anishinabek Police Service.
Police would like to remind the public that our officers have the tools and training to detect and arrest impaired drivers. These tools include approved screening devices and approved drug screening equipment. Police are trained in detecting impaired driving, administering sobriety tests for both alcohol and drugs as well as court-recognized drug recognition experts to determine impairment.
A motorist with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (0.08) or higher, impaired by drug determined by DRE or a refusal will be met with an immediate 90-day licence suspension and seven-day vehicle impoundment.
Upon conviction, penalties for a first offence is a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000-to-$2,500 (based on BAC). A second offence is a mandatory minimum of 30-days imprisonment, and a third, or more, offence is a mandatory minimum of 120 days imprisonment.
While law enforcement will increase its efforts to combat incidents of impaired driving during the Festive RIDE season, the enforcement of impaired driving remains ongoing throughout the year.
The Thunder Bay Police Service would like to thank all motorists who choose to drive sober, free of distraction and safe.
The Numbers at a Glance:
TBPS to date (November 24)
2021— 220 (102 by drug / 8 refusals)
2020— 242 (112 by drug / 10 refusals)
2019— 164 (39 by drug / 15 refusals)