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SGI doubles down on impaired driving

By July 28, 2022No Comments
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SGI counts another 482 reasons not to drink and drive this summer.

That figure is the number of impaired driving offences and the number of occupant restraint tickets issued by police in June—along with 319 Criminal Code charges related to impaired driving.

The report caught the attention of the Lloydminster RCMP Detachment, which also wants residents to stay safe during their travels this summer by driving sober.

“We want to remind drivers on both sides of the border that driving while impaired is illegal and can result in criminal charges and worse—terrible accidents, so please drive sober and stay safe this summer,” said Cst. Melanie Flynn.

The June stats and the cost of impaired driving to convicted motorists and affected parties continue to drive SGI’s public awareness campaigns for safe driving during the busy summer period for traffic.

“We see more collisions resulting from impaired driving in the summer months typically and a little bit more serious collisions particularly—fatalities across the board go up,” said SGI spokesperson, Tyler McMurchy.

“These numbers are too high because no amount of impaired driving is acceptable.”

Police in Saskatchewan also issued an additional 163 administrative licence suspensions in June to people who exceeded the provincial limits for alcohol or drugs.

Each of those licence suspensions comes with a minimum three-day vehicle impoundment, and a requirement to take driver education classes. 

Getting caught driving impaired is a quick way to ruin your summer with a charge resulting in an immediate, indefinite driver’s licence suspension and a minimum 30-day vehicle impoundment.

If convicted, fines start at $1,000 along with Safe Driver Recognition penalties starting at $1,250 and longer-term driving suspensions and higher insurance rates.

Impaired drivers are also required to take driver education and install an Ignition Interlock device in their vehicle. 

McMurchy says that can top $12,000 for 10 years for a third offence.

SGI says the penalties for deciding to drive impaired are serious because choosing to drive impaired puts, everyone, on the road at risk.

In 2021, there were 658 impaired driving collisions, resulting in 370 injuries, and 33 deaths on Saskatchewan roads.

The good news is, the numbers are trending downwards from 2012 when there were 1,410 collisions, 746 injuries and 69 deaths. 

Impaired driving is still the leading cause of fatality on Saskatchewan roads, but SGI has seen impaired driving fatalities drop significantly, particularly over the past five years.

“We believe what we are seeing is a culmination of efforts on many fronts: legislation, enforcement, awareness, technology and partnerships,” said McMurchy.

“But most importantly, Saskatchewan drivers have clearly adopted safer driving habits.” 

SGI’s safety messaging and programs are helping to make motorists aware of the need to drive safe in addition to providing insurance, licensing and registration.

“Traffic safety is a huge part of our DNA. It’s something people in this company believe very strongly in. We have a very significant role in contributing to traffic safety in Saskatchewan,” said McMurchy.

“We’ve seen a lot of great progress and that comes down to people making better decisions and not getting behind the wheel when they are impaired, but there is work to do and there are some people that do need to get the message.”

McMurchy says driving impaired is not cheap and it can have other costly effects on your life if you need a car to go to work or need a clean criminal record to keep your job.

It can also impact your reputation and relationships with friends and family.

“It can have a really significant effect and it’s not something I think anybody wants to go through,” said McMurchy.

SGI also notes for the month of June, police doled out 831 tickets for distracted driving, including 719 for using a cellphone while driving; and 5,336 tickets for speeding or aggressive driving offences.