The OPP in Ontario say that the number of impaired drivers is way up this year. Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the OPP says that charges are up 30% with drunks being caught at all hours of the day and night. A total of 1020 impaired driving / driving ver the legal limit charges have been laid to date this year. These are criminal charges taht will haunt the drivers for the rest of their lives once they are convicted.
The fact the charges have been laid consistently over the year rather than on a couple of long weekends is of particular concern for all of us. Thankfully the number of deaths related to impaired driving has not kept pace this year, with 19 deaths versus the 34 we had seen at this time last year.
Most drunk drivers are caught either because they are reported by other people on the road or call it in. RIDE programmes place a distant second for catching impaired drivers. The police are hopeful that the reason for fewer deaths is that more people are calling in drunk drivers who are then being caught before they cause a death or accident.
If you see someone who is driving erratically and you suspect that they are impaired you should call 911 from the car and report the car make and model and licence plate to the dispatcher indicating you suspect they may be impaired. 911 calls are the only calls that are permitted while driving.