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Don McMorris becomes 4th Sask. MLA with impaired driving record

Click to play video: 'Impaired driving charges not uncommon among Saskatchewan politicians' Impaired driving charges not uncommon among Saskatchewan politicians
WATCH ABOVE: Don McMorris isn't the first politician to be caught with impaired driving. In fact, it was a major topic during the last provincial election. Christa Dao explains – Aug 8, 2016

In light of former deputy premier Don McMorris’ impaired driving charge, the issue of drunk driving culture in Saskatchewan has resurfaced.

The province’s impaired driving record is one of the worst in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, in 2011, only the Northwest Territories and Yukon had higher impaired driving rates than Saskatchewan.

Numbers from SGI in 2014 show 59 people were killed in the province from alcohol-related crashes.

Statistics from SGI show 59 people were killed in alcohol-related collisions in 2014.
Statistics from SGI show 59 people were killed in alcohol-related collisions in 2014. SGI

READ MORE: Wasted: The culture of drinking and driving in Saskatchewan

But McMorris isn’t the first provincial public figure to get an impaired driving charge.

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University of Regina political science professor Tom McIntosh said it’s not uncommon to see impaired driving records in Saskatchewan politics.

“We had a couple revelations during the election, on both side of the house, that they had candidates running who had past drinking and driving charges,” McIntosh said.

Two Saskatchewan NDP candidates, Dwayne Lasas of Meadow Lake and Lyle Whitefish for Saskatchewan Rivers revealed they had previous impaired driving convictions. They were both not elected.

Three Sask. Party MLA have a history of impaired driving. File / Global News

For the Sask Party, Terry Dennis had two DUIs, one in 1979 and another in 2001.

Scott Moe, minister for advanced education also had an impaired driving conviction 24 years ago.

Eric Olauson of Saskatoon had two convictions of drunk driving. One in 1992, and another the following year.

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READ MORE: Former deputy premier Don McMorris charged with impaired driving

However, what is new is this is the first time a sitting MLA was caught.

“There’s a certain irony in the fact that we were talking about this and McMorris was talking about the need for stiffer penalties,” McIntosh said.

The former deputy premier was also minister responsible for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Association (SLGA), and Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI).

McIntosh said given the time, politicians can come back from scandals such as this, but it could be difficult.

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