One of the biggest challenges police and law enforcement face when stopping impaired drivers in Saskatchewan is the mentality people have about drunk driving.
Saskatchewan people just don’t seem to understand that drinking any amount of alcohol and getting behind the wheel can be deadly. This is despite the impaired driving crashes that have claimed the lives of numerous people including a family of four and a man out training his dog, and it’s despite many ad campaigns and PSAs from SGI.
Yet SGI keeps trying, and their latest ad campaign is called “Be a Good Wingman.” A wingman is someone who has your back when you’re out for the night, but according to the insurance corporation, being a good wingman is a call to action, not a reference to someone helping their buddy find a date. They’d like people who know of or see impaired drivers in Saskatchewan to stop them before they hurt someone else or themselves, and they realize it might put you in an awkward situation with your friend or family member, but if you’re a good wingman you won’t let them drive after drinking.
It’s a timely campaign considering the province seems to be in the middle of a surge of drunk driving arrests. Hundreds were arrested in June and July, even though Saskatchewan has recently changed their impaired driving laws to crack down on these drivers. Even if you are stopped with a .04 blood alcohol concentration (BAC), you could still receive a temporary suspension and have your vehicle impounded.
Like most of SGI’s impaired driving campaigns, being a good wingman relies on Saskatchewan residents to think before they drink and drive. Is that possible given that there seems to be an unbreakable culture of impaired drivers in the province? At the very least, SGI is going to keep trying to get through to these drivers, and eventually the province with the highest rate of impaired driving in Canada could finally start to see their numbers slow down.