If recent Saskatchewan drunk driving news is any indication, the province is heading down a slippery slope and they really need to put on the brakes.
The latest stats from SGI (Saskatchewan Government Insurance) show that there were over 300 drunk driving charges in the month of July alone. If you’re wondering if that number is fairly standard for the province, the answer is no. Compared to 2015 the number of Saskatchewan drunk driving arrests in July has tripled.
Although the news article citing the stats said that SGI doesn’t know why there’s been such a sharp increase, it might have something to do with people’s perception of drunk driving in the province. A poll by Mainstreet Research showed that one in five people in Saskatchewan think it’s perfectly fine to drink and drive if it’s on a quiet, rural road and they are only going a short distance.
It is encouraging that 77 percent of the people surveyed think it’s unacceptable to drink and drive, but 19 percent thought drunk driving wasn’t a big deal if it was under those conditions. That doesn’t sound like a lot of people, but it’s a huge chunk of the population when you consider that drunk driving is against the law and that simple drive could easily injure or kill someone.
A recent case in Regina’s North end highlights exactly what’s been happening on Saskatchewan roads. Tanner Kaufmann, a 37-year-old father of two, was just out for a Sunday afternoon of training his dog. He was standing behind his vehicle when 19-year-old Colby Heid struck and killed both Kaufmann and his dog.
This is the type of tragedy that’s becoming all too common on the province’s roads, and although Saskatchewan has some of the stiffest impaired driving penalties in Canada, people are still making the decision to get drunk behind the wheel.
Saskatchewan drunk driving will only end if residents change the way they view drunk driving. Yes, a police officer will stop you if you do drink and drive, but people need to make a conscious choice to put away the own keys and not get behind that wheel while drunk.