Police forces across the province are getting ready for what could be a busy weekend for pulling over impaired drivers.
According to Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), officers catch between 200-400 impaired drivers every month.
“Police agencies across Saskatchewan have made impaired driving enforcement a top priority,” Saskatoon Police Service Staff Sgt. Patrick Barbar said in a news release.
“A plan is all you need to avoid becoming a statistic; get a designated driver, take a cab or rideshare car, stay over or use transit.”
There is a zero-tolerance policy for drug-impaired drivers and zero alcohol tolerance for new drivers.
Penalties start at .04 blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) for experienced drivers, while criminal charges can be laid if a driver exceeds .08.
“While we have seen significant reductions in impaired driving injuries and fatalities over the previous decade, far too many people still make the potentially deadly decision to drive after drinking or using drugs,” said SGI’s chief operating officer of the Auto Fund, Penny McCune.
Police have the ability to seize a driver’s vehicle and suspend their license if they fail a breathalyzer or field sobriety test.
SGI and police forces are asking the public to help prevent impaired drivers from getting on the road this month by making sure their friends and family who have been drinking have a safe form of transportation or a place to stay.
There are several signs that a driver could be impaired including:
- Drifting in and out of lanes
- Driving unreasonably fast, slow or at an inconsistent speed
- Tailgating and changing lanes frequently
- Making exceptionally wide turns
- Changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance
- Overshooting or stopping well before stop signs or stop lights
- Disregarding signals and lights
- Approaching or leaving intersections too quickly or too slowly
- Driving with windows open in cold or inclement weather
- Driving without headlights, failing to lower high beams or leaving turn signals on
If you suspect someone is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you’re asked to contact 911 and provide as much detail about the location and vehicle as possible.
WATCH (March 2019): SADD driving home the consequences of impaired driving