Mississauga, October 23 (CINEWS): Drunken driving claims hundreds of lives each year in Ontario alone. In 2010, it was estimated that 2,541 individuals were killed in motor vehicle crashes in Canada and a minimum 1,082 of these fatalities were impairment-related. Those figures can only get higher if trends are to be taken into consideration.
Peel Regional Police say officers are seeing an increasing number of drug-impaired drivers on Mississauga and Brampton streets. The police force also doesn’t have any special equipment dedicated specifically to testing for drug
impairment, although the hopes from officers and anti-drunk driving groups are that will change.
But, before Peel or other forces could begin using such a device, there would have to be changes made to the Criminal Code of Canada that would allow roadside drug screening to become part of existing drunk driving statutes.
Peel Const. Joel Genoe of the force’s Road Safety Services Unit said, currently, officers use investigative instincts and physical observations to detect drug impairment.
Officers who are trained and qualified may also conduct standard field sobriety tests, he said. These include asking the driver to walk and turning or stand on one leg.
He said more officers continue to be trained in detecting those who are impaired by drugs and/or alcohol while operating a vehicle, and that police are seeing an increase in such crimes on the road.
Ontario is a leader in combating impaired driving through some of the toughest laws and programs in North America.
• Lose your licence
• Have your vehicle impounded
• Need to pay an administrative monetary penalty
• Need to attend an education or treatment program
• Be fined upon conviction
• Be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
• Spend time in jail