By the end of May 2015, Huron County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) had already charged 34 drivers with impaired driving and/or over 80mg. That number is up from 2014 when they had only charged 18 people during the exact same period, and it works out to an alarming 90% increase in impaired driving.
To figure out what’s going on in the area, the OPP did an analysis of the people stopped for impaired driving, and they found that 85% of the drivers charged were male, 68% of the impaired driving stops happened during daytime hours, and 6 of the impaired drivers were under the age of 16.
According to Ontario impaired driving laws, each driver who was stopped was given an immediate 90-day driver’s license suspension and they’ll have to appear in court to face further penalties including the possibility of an ignition interlock program for one year.
While it’s clear that Huron County has an impaired driving problem, the reasons why it’s happening are anyone’s guess. It could be due in part to the fact that Huron County is a rural area. A full 62% of the drivers were also stopped on rural roads, and that; gives credence to the theory that people believe if you’re drunk, driving on rural roads makes it easier to avoid the police. People could also be continuing to drive impaired because they just don’t bother to pay attention to public service announcements and campaigns by organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to promote sober driving.
Whether you’re in Huron County or other parts of Ontario, you can make a difference by always choosing to drive sober and if you drink, call a cab or choose a designated driver.