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CAA releases study about driving high as Lethbridge police continue holiday checkstops

Click to play video: 'CAA releases study about young Canadian drivers and cannabis use' CAA releases study about young Canadian drivers and cannabis use
WATCH: A study recently released by the Canadian Automobile Association found that a quarter of young Canadians admit to either driving high or having traveled in a vehicle with a high driver. We look at societal perceptions surrounding the issue and also get an update from Lethbridge police on their holiday checkstop campaign. – Dec 30, 2019

A study recently released by the Canadian Automobile Association found that a quarter of Canadians aged 18 to 34 admit to either driving high or having travelled in a vehicle with a high driver.

With the release of this report, Lethbridge police are continuing their initiative to catch and prevent people from driving under the influence during the busy holiday season.

The poll found while 86 per cent of younger Canadians understand the importance of making alternative travel plans after consuming alcohol, 70 per cent view it as significantly less important to do so after consuming cannabis.

READ MORE: Lethbridge police patrol streets for impaired drivers during holiday season

“We also asked Canadians if they thought cannabis affected their driving, and younger Canadians, again aged 18 to 34, they were more likely to think that cannabis didn’t affect their driving at all or actually made them better drivers,” said Kristine D’Arbelles, manager of public affairs at CAA.

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“There are already early studies that have come out that indicate cannabis does affect your ability to drive. In particular, it affects your reaction time.”

One way Lethbridge police are cracking down on people driving under the influence of drugs is with holiday checkstops.

“In the months where we’re celebrating the holidays, the number of impaired drivers go up,” said Const. Kristen Songer with the Lethbridge police. “I don’t have exact numbers for you, but we do see them rise because there [are] more parties, staff parties, work parties, that sort of thing that people are attending.”

READ MORE: Lethbridge police keeping eyes peeled for high drivers during the holidays

Police also reminded people that alternative options are always available.

“They can call friends, family. They can take taxis,” Songer said. “There [are] lots of transportation apps that are available now.”

Both law enforcement and the CAA say they will continue their work to reduce impaired driving through initiatives like public education campaigns and continued targeted enforcement.

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