Choosing to drive after drinking or using drugs may start a chain of events that can have long lasting and life altering consequences, for you, your passengers and others. No one gets behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs with a plan to injure others. But every day people are injured or killed by someone impaired by drugs or alcohol.
The size of the problem? Saskatchewan has the highest rate of impaired driving incidents of all Canadian provinces – a rate almost triple that of the national average.
Possible consequences for people that choose to drive after taking drugs or consuming alcohol include:
It is important not to drink alcohol or take drugs if you intend to drive any motorized vehicle including cars, boats, snowmobiles, ATVs, or motorcycles. Check the label on prescription or over-the-counter medications before taking them so that you can make an informed decision about driving.
Plan a safe ride. This could mean using public transportation, a taxi service, or car service that gets you and your vehicle home safely. If you’re going out as part of a group, a non-impaired individual may agree to be the designated driver. You could also make arrangements with a friend or family member that agrees to pick you up if you’re in a bind – no questions asked.
Many communities all over Saskatchewan also have programs in place to report impaired drivers (RID). These programs encourage the public to pull over and call 9 1 1 if they see a driver they suspect is impaired.
When it comes to mixing alcohol or drugs with driving, the stakes are high for everyone involved. Careful consideration of all the consequences is required. Don’t drive if you have been drinking or using drugs. Don’t be a passenger in a vehicle if you think the driver may be impaired. And if you think you see an impaired driver, call 9 1 1.
Provincial laws, in addition to the Criminal Code, deal with drunk and drugged driving and allow for the suspension of driving privileges, vehicle impoundment, and more.
The Criminal Code includes offences dealing with both drunk and drugged driving, as well as impaired driving and driving while disqualified.
From roadside screening to breathalyser tests, blood, saliva and urine samples, the police have many options for detecting drunk or drugged driving.