Stay Safe and Sober This Victoria Day Long Weekend

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Police keep expressing that if one drinks and drives they will be caught. Photo - DepositPhotos.com
Police keep expressing that if one drinks and drives they will be caught. Photo - DepositPhotos.com

MADD Canada Urges Canadians to Plan Ahead for Safe Transportation

Thunder Bay – LIVING – As the Victoria Day long weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, MADD Canada is reminding everyone to celebrate responsibly and never operate a vehicle while impaired.

The instances of impaired driving across Northern Ontario are on a per capita basis far too high, if you will forgive the play on words. It often seems despite all the education, and the increased penalties, and the plan in Ontario to further increase penalties, the message gets lost – Especially on long weekends and holidays.

“The crashes, deaths, and injuries caused by impaired driving are entirely preventable,” said MADD Canada National President Tanya Hansen Pratt. “We want everyone to enjoy the holiday weekend, but we also want everyone to get home safely.”

Criminal Code of Canada Penalties for Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is a serious criminal offence with severe consequences. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, penalties for impaired driving include:

  • First offence: Mandatory minimum $1,000 fine, maximum 10 years imprisonment
  • Second offence: Mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment, maximum 10 years imprisonment
  • Third offence: Mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment, maximum 10 years imprisonment

Drug Impaired Driving: Focus on Cannabis

In addition to alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, including cannabis, is also illegal and dangerous. The penalties for drug-impaired driving are the same as for alcohol-impaired driving.

Specific to cannabis, there are three new offences under the Criminal Code:

  1. Driving with 2 nanograms (ng) but less than 5 ng of THC per milliliter (ml) of blood.
  2. Driving with 5 ng or more of THC per ml of blood.
  3. Driving with a combination of 50 milligrams (mg) of alcohol (or more) plus 2.5 ng or more of THC per 1 ml of blood.

MADD Canada’s Campaign 911

MADD Canada’s Campaign 911 encourages everyone to call 911 if they see a driver they suspect is impaired. The program runs year-round but is promoted more heavily during the spring and summer months.

MADD Canada’s Tips for a Safe Long Weekend

  • Plan ahead for a safe ride home.
  • Never drive impaired by alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs.
  • Never get into a vehicle operated by someone who is impaired.
  • Call 911 if you see a suspected impaired driver.
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