Canadian Underwriter

SGI reports 279 impaired driving offences in November in Saskatchewan

December 21, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) has reported that there were 279 impaired driving offences in November in the province.

SGI and law enforcement across Saskatchewan focused on impaired driving in November, the province’s self-sustaining auto insurance fund said in a press release on Wednesday. Of the 279 impaired driving-related offences, 269 were Criminal Code of Canada charges related to impaired driving (a blood alcohol content (BAC) level over .08 or refusing a breath test), while 10 were for having a BAC between .04 and .08.

In addition to the impaired driving offences, more than 5,000 tickets were issued throughout the month (including all traffic safety focus results for November submitted by police as of Dec. 15): 4,447 speeding violations, 284 distracted driving offences (161 of those were for cell phone use) and 308 tickets for inappropriate or no seatbelt/child safety seat.

Impaired driving remains the focus throughout December and it was also the focus in October. In late November, SGI reported that 335 impaired drivers were stopped in October, resulting in 314 Criminal Code charges related to a BAC over .08 or refusing a blood test and 21 offences for having a BAC between .04 and .08. Police also issued 3,757 other tickets.

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, several traffic safety laws in Saskatchewan will change. These changes include:

  • Zero tolerance for alcohol and drugs for driver 21 and under and for all new drivers (any driver in the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) or Motorcycle GDL program, regardless of age). The 60-day suspension on first offence, as is the current law, still applies;
  • Drivers prohibited from holding, viewing, using or manipulating a cellphone while driving;
  • A three-day vehicle seizure for experienced drivers with .04-.08 BAC on a first offence;
  • For drivers with .08 – .159 BAC or impaired, one year ignition interlock on first offence, three years on second offence and 10 years for third and subsequent offence; and
  • Over .16 BAC or refusing a breath sample: two years of ignition interlock for first offence; five years for second offence; and 10 years for third and subsequent offence.