Police in Saskatchewan have their work cut out for them, and they appear to be up to the job. New, stricter traffic laws went into effect in July. In that month alone 1300 penalties were levied. That includes 515 suspensions for impaired driving. The remaining penalties were vehicle seizures for impaired driving, unauthorized driving, and high-risk driving practices such as stunting and speeding.
The laws target the three main causes of road fatalities: alcohol, distractions, and speed. Of these, impairment is the most serious problem, and the Saskatchewan RCMP have adjusted the consequences to reflect this threat.
Motorists convicted of DUI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .08 are now required to install an ignition interlock. The period of interlock use varies depending on the number of prior offenses:
- 1st Offense: 1 year ignition interlock
- 2nd Offense: 2 years
- 3rd Offense: 5 years
Drivers with a BAC between .04 (the legal limit in Saskatchewan) and .08 also face tougher consequences, including mandatory license suspension, vehicle impoundment for a 2nd offense, and ignition interlocks for 3rd offenses. Fines have risen as well.
Tougher laws have worked in British Columbia, and they will work in Saskatchewan as well. Congratulations to the RCMP for taking on the very important task of reducing road deaths and injuries.