It’s the worst case scenario for Ontario Provincial Police. After a winter of impaired driving blitzes and the hopes for a decrease in impaired driving rates, the province has now seen a huge surge in impaired driving charges.
In the past 30 days, the police in Ontario have handed out more than 180 alcohol-related criminal charges across the entire province, and many of the charges were laid after crashes. One recent Brampton impaired driving crash resulted in a Ford F-150 driver facing numerous criminal charges, including impaired driving causing death, after he was heading the wrong way down Highway 403. The crash killed one person and seriously injured another after the Ford driver stuck them head on.
This increase is up a whopping 60% over the same 30-day period from 2014, and according to the police, there’s no rhyme or reason as to why they’re seeing the increase. Those arrested and involved in the crashes are both men and women, old and young, and they’re seeing the uptick in incidents both on the highways and in the city.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Toronto has weighed in on the increase, and a spokesperson for MADD has said they hope the spike is more a matter of offenders who have been caught then the possibility of more people drinking and driving. The organizations take on fighting against impaired driving is to have mandatory screenings at RIDE checkpoints, where the police would screen a specific amount of cars rather than wait for drivers with the scent of alcohol on their breath. MADD has pitched their idea to the Ontario government, but no word on whether these measures will be implemented.
If you’re caught and convicted of impaired driving in Ontario, you’ll lose your driver’s license, must install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, and you’ll be required to pay $1,000 in fines. If those penalties aren’t enough to deter impaired drivers, what will the next step be for Ontario?