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Impaired driving SGI’s traffic focus to start 2019

A police officer prepares to administer a roadside breath test
For the start of 2019, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) and law enforcement officials across the province will be focusing on impaired driving for January’s traffic safety. Chad Hipolito / The Canadian Press Images

For the start of 2019, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) and law enforcement officials across the province will be focusing on impaired driving for January’s traffic safety.

With the legalization of cannabis in October, and new federal and provincial impaired driving laws that were brought into effect during 2018, SGI said that the focus is as relevant as ever.

“Make 2019 the year you don’t even think about driving impaired,” said Penny McCune, chief operating officer of the Auto Fund.

READ MORE: Record number of distracted drivers caught in Saskatchewan

“The acceptable number for drivers charged with impairment is zero. The acceptable number for people killed and hurt by impaired driving is zero.”

“Every driver has the responsibility to never get behind the wheel when they’re impaired.”

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Whether its cannabis or alcohol, police have been given the tools to determine when someone is driving under the influence, and with recent changes to laws around breath samples, impaired drivers are more likely to be caught.

READ MORE: Mother of teen girl killed by train says distracted driving to blame

Impaired driving is still the leading cause of death on Saskatchewan roads. In 2017, 39 per cent of traffic deaths in the province involved drug or alcohol use.

Driving high or driving with alcohol in your system come with the same penalties, including immediate and indefinite roadside license suspension for criminal charges, vehicle seizure up to 60 days, and mandatory enrolment in SGI’s Driving Without Impairment education program.