Enhanced Impaired Driving Enforcement 2018 Results

Impaired Driving Statistics 2018
Enhanced Impaired Driving Enforcement 2018 Results
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Reducing the incidence of impaired driving remains a priority for the Halton Regional Police Service.

Statistics show that impaired drivers are much more likely to cause collisions, highway injuries and vehicular deaths than non-impaired drivers.

“This is one of the greatest risks to public safety that we face,” says Halton Regional Police Service Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah.

Changes to Legislative Framework — 2018

Last year, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-46, the most comprehensive reform to the Criminal Code transportation regime in more than 40 years. The new law is a modern, simplified, and more coherent system of reforms to better deter and detect drug and alcohol-impaired driving.

The elements of Bill C-46 related to drug-impaired driving came into force on June 21, 2018. The legislation authorizes police to use additional tools, such as roadside oral fluid drug screeners, enacts new driving offences of being over a prohibited blood drug concentration, and allows for blood samples to be collected without first requiring a driver to undergo a drug recognition evaluation.

The part of Bill C-46 legislation related to alcohol-impaired driving came into force on December 18, 2018. These amendments include, but are not limited to, the introduction of mandatory alcohol screening and the introduction of some new and higher mandatory minimum fines and some higher maximum penalties for impaired driving.

At the provincial level, amendments to the Highway Traffic Act came into effect last year. As of July 1, 2018, young (age 21 or under) and novice drivers of any age (with G1, G2, M1, or M2 licenses) are prohibited from having any presence of cannabis in their system as well as other drugs that can be detected by an oral fluid screening device. This change is in addition to the legislation that was already in place prohibiting these drivers from having any presence of alcohol in their blood when behind the wheel.

Last year, police officers charged 42 individuals with drug-impaired driving offences.

As of July 1, 2018 drivers of vehicles requiring an A-F class license, vehicles requiring a Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) and road building machines are prohibited from having any presence of alcohol in their blood when behind the wheel of these types of vehicles. These drivers are also prohibited from having any presence of cannabis in their system as well as other drugs that can be detected by an oral fluid screening device.

Impaired Driving Enforcement Strategy

The Halton Regional Police Service continues to leverage their existing front line resources in conjunction with their vast database of impaired-related information in concert with business intelligence and advanced analytics to refine innovative tactics, inform their enforcement activities, and increase the reach of public awareness programs.

Impaired Driving Offence

Impaired offences include driving while ability impaired, care and control, driving over 80mgs and fail or refuse to provide a sample, as well as the new charges that were introduced in the Criminal Code of Canada on December 18, 2018 (operation while impaired, BAC 80 mg or more, within 2 hours, and failure or refusal to comply with demand.

Impaired Driving Enforcement 2018 Outcomes

As a result of the Service’s enhanced tool-kit of impaired enforcement tactics:

  1. a total of 3,116 roadside tests were conducted by HRPS officers in all of 2018, an increase of more than 20 per cent over the number of roadside tests conducted in all of 2017;
  2. 593 motorists were arrested by HRPS officers in all of 2018 for all impaired driving offences, a 7 per cent increase over total impaired offences in all of 2017.
  3. 565 roadside suspensions were issued by HRPS officers in all of 2018,
  4. 7 per cent increase over total roadside suspensions in all of 2017
  5. 565 roadside suspensions, 33 were issued to repeat offenders;

December 2018 R.I.D.E. program statistics

  1. 969 roadside tests were conducted  nearly double the number of roadside tests conducted during the December 2017
  2. 58 motorists were arrested, a 20 per cent decrease from 2017
  3. 85 roadside suspensions were issued, a 2 per cent increase from 2017

In the months leading up the legalization of cannabis in October 2018, we communicated frequently with the public to clarify that drug-impaired driving is a criminal offence, and has been since 1925.

We also worked to dispel the myth that drug-impaired driving is easy to mask and therefore difficult to detect.

Impairment by drugs affects information-processing, hand-eye coordination, judgment, concentration, comprehension, visual acuity and reaction time.

Our highly-trained officers continue to enforce drug-impaired driving based on observations of the readily recognizable effects of drugs on a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.

Last year, we charged 42 individuals with drug-impaired driving offences on our roads.

Working with the community

Vigilance by observant road users remains a valuable contributor to the Halton Regional Police Service’s enforcement of alcohol- and drug-impaired driving.

Last year, motorists within our region reported 169 drivers who were subsequently located by our officers and arrested for impaired driving.

With a third of our impaired investigations being attributable, at least in part, to our community, this is exactly what we mean when we say that road safety is a shared responsibility.

Impaired driving is a crime in progress; if you witness suspected impaired driving, please call 9-1-1 to report it.

Next Steps

Bolstering the efforts of the Halton Regional Police Service to enhance road safety through the reduction of impaired driving is a priority for 2019.

Duraiappah states, “The number of roadside tests our officers conducted last year is a clear signal that our Service is increasing momentum when it comes to enforcement of impaired driving. Ultimately, those drivers that choose to engage in these behaviours are putting all road users at risk. We continue to seek opportunities to be innovative in how we mitigate any threat to community safety and well-being in our region. Our residents deserve our best.”

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