As far as Canadian impaired driving laws are concerned, there’s one province that’s been at the top of the news almost every single month since the beginning of the year. Saskatchewan impaired driving has been a serious problem, and the province has the highest rate of impaired drivers in the entire country.
With 2016 stats just released from SGI, it’s looking like there’s no end in sight for Saskatchewan impaired driving. 57 people were killed in 2016 due to alcohol-related crashes, and that number is up from 54 the year before.
29 of those alcohol-related deaths happened on major highways in the province, while 15 occurred on rural roads. 58 percent of all traffic deaths that happened on rural roads were due to alcohol, and 46 percent involved alcohol.
Even pedestrians aren’t safe from drunk drivers. There were nine pedestrians killed due to drunk driving. Teens aren’t safe either – of all age demographics, young people aged 16 to 21 are the most at risk for crashes. These teens only make up nine percent of the drivers on the roads, but they are involved in 19 percent of all alcohol-related crashes.
Thankfully, Saskatchewan lawmakers have plans in place to make sure that 2017 is the year everything starts to change. They’ve added new restrictions for teen drivers, and anyone under the age of 21 is not allowed to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system. They’ve enhanced the ignition interlock program so that drivers have to spend a longer period of time using the device after a conviction, and anyone charged three or more Saskatchewan impaired driving offenses will spend up to 10 years in jail.
Premier Brad Wall is also trying to add ride sharing to the province, although he faces an uphill battle as the taxi industry is against such a big change.
Let’s hope 2017 is the year that Saskatchewan impaired driving is knocked from the top spot and people in the province start making smart choices after they’ve been drinking.