REGINA, Aug. 30, 2019 /CNW/ - Impaired drivers are responsible for thousands of preventable deaths and injuries in Canada each year. The Government of Canada has introduced strict new drug-impaired driving laws and is providing law enforcement with access to new technologies, more resources and the training needed to detect and prosecute drug-impaired drivers. If you consume cannabis in any form, do not drive. Find an alternative means of transportation.
Today, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, and the Honourable Gene Makowsky, Minister Responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, on behalf of the Minister of Corrections and Policing, the Honourable Christine Tell, announced $5.4 million over five years to support frontline law enforcement officers to combat drug-impaired driving in Saskatchewan. The funding will be used to increase capacity among frontline police officers in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) evaluation to detect and deter drug-impaired driving and enforce the new legislative offences.
The funding will also be used to develop standardized data collection and reporting practices for analyzing trends, identifying gaps and providing an accurate picture of drug-impaired driving in the province, and across Canada. The funding is part of the $81 million announced by the Government of Canada for provinces and territories to support public and road safety activities.
"Driving is a privilege and with privilege comes responsibility. If you are planning to consume cannabis or any other drug, do not drive. You are not a better driver after using cannabis and you can't assume you are safe to drive after a couple of hours. Anyone who wants to drive must act responsibly and always drive sober. I am pleased to support law enforcement efforts in Saskatchewan to detect and remove dangerous and reckless drug-impaired drivers from our roads."
- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
"Impaired driving is a serious issue in our province, and we appreciate the steps Public Safety Canada is taking to help reduce drug-impaired driving in Saskatchewan. This funding is being used to help equip front-line law enforcement agencies with the training and resources necessary to continue to combat drug-impaired driving."
- The Honourable Gene Makowsky, Minister Responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority
- There are over 14,400 Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) trained officers across Canada (November 2018) and 1,115 certified DREs (August 1, 2019).
- For this agreement, Saskatchewan has established a training objective of 100 officers trained in SFST for 2018-2019 and up to 300 officers over three years to bring the capacity to 33 per cent of frontline officers; and to train an additional 100 officers as DREs over five years.
- Public Safety Canada introduced its second Don't Drive High public awareness advertisement in April 2019. The campaign will continue to engage young Canadians and leverage partnerships with other levels of governments and organizations that are working toward the same goal to eliminate drug-impaired driving on Canadian roads.
- Overall, 15 per cent of cannabis users with a valid driver's license reported driving within two hours of consuming cannabis, according to combined data from the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. This was unchanged from the first half of 2018.
- Cannabis in Canada
- Government of Canada's support to provinces and territories, law enforcement, research and public education to detect and deter drug-impaired drivers
- Public opinion research on drug impaired driving
- Impaired Driving Laws
SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
For further information: Scott Bardsley, Manager of Media and Communications, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 613-998-5681, [email protected]; Media Relations, Public Safety Canada, 613-991-0657, [email protected]