The official kick off to summer fun was the Victoria Day long weekend, but instead of celebrating the weekend with food and fun, Ontario police were forced to come to a sobering realization: impaired drivers in Ontario aren’t getting the message that drinking and driving can kill. Either that, or they’re totally ignoring it.
Impaired drivers kicked off Friday night of the first long weekend of summer with 41 impaired driving charges laid by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). By the time Monday rolled around there were 160 drunk drivers stopped, 25 stunt drivers removed from the road, and 16 more dangerous driving charges.
While some people will have memories of the long weekend that include sun, time spent at the cottage, and a campfire or two, the OPP will remember a drunk driver who tried to drive the wrong way up a ramp toward Mississauga.
Police might also have vivid memories of the two senior citizens who were stunt driving. One 65-year-old man was stopped for driving 151 km/hr in an 80 km/hr zone and another was driving 140 km/hr in a 70 km/hr zone. The seniors probably won’t forget the weekend either, because they both had their cars impounded for seven days.
This is a spike in impaired drivers in Ontario. Last year, the same long weekend saw ten impaired drivers. As of May 1st of this year, OPP had seen a 150 per cent increase with 25 people arrested for impaired driving.
What’s baffling is that this increase is happening in spite of the media surrounding the Marco Muzzo case. He’s living proof that drinking and driving, even one time, can result in the deaths of innocent people and change the course of your entire life. No one driving drunk on the Victoria Day long weekend seems to be paying attention to that message.
Ontario Police have said they spend approximately 30-35 percent of their daily work stopping impaired drivers. That doesn’t leave much room to crack down on other criminals. What’s it going to take to stop Ontario drunk drivers?