Release Date: January 21st, 2019 - 9:39am
Originator: Sergeant, Ryan Snow, Traffic Services Unit, 905-825-4777 ext. 5245
Contact: Sergeant, Ryan Snow, Traffic Services Unit, 905-825-4777 ext. 5245
Location: Halton Region
Attachment 1: 5791-2018 Impaireds Roundup - Infographic - FINAL.pdf
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.
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 Enforcement Outcomes — 2018
As a result of the Service's enhanced toolkit of impaired enforcement tactics:
“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,” says Sgt. Ryan Snow of the HRPS Traffic Services Unit. “We also worked to dispel the myth that drug-impaired driving is easy to mask and therefore difficult to detect,” he added. “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.”
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," says Snow. "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."
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.”