Results have been tallied by SGI for December's Traffic Safety Spotlight on impaired driving.
Last month, police across the province reported 352 impaired driving offences, including 306 criminal code charges and 46 roadside suspensions.
Since impaired driving is more likely to become a temptation for some throughout the holidays, it is, in fact, SGI’s spotlight focus every December and every January.
“Of course, it's the holiday season, we know that people will be oftentimes spending time with friends and family, celebrating the holidays, getting together, work parties as well, so there may be more opportunities for people to be in circumstances that involve alcohol or other impairing substances, so that's one of the reasons why we do shine that spotlight on the issue of impaired driving,” explained SGI’s Manager of Media Relations, Tyler McMurchy.
SGI reminds drivers that it's never been harder to get away with impaired driving, which is reflected by the results. Keeping in mind that police do undertake extra impairment enforcement activities, such as checkstops, McMurchy said the numbers reflect both alcohol and drug-impaired drivers.
“That includes people who exceeded .08 or exceeded .16 [blood alcohol content], it would include people who refused a breathalyzer, which is treated the same as a .16 fail,” he explained. “It would also include somebody who may have failed a drug recognition evaluation. Perhaps they were impaired by drugs instead of alcohol.”
He added the consequences even for a roadside suspension are significant includes a three-day vehicle seizure and three-day license suspension, as well as being required to attend a Driving Without Impairment course.
SGI also designates two additional months every year for putting impaired driving in the Traffic Safety Spotlight.