Drug-Impaired Driving Charges on the Rise in Toronto

Toronto Police Release Drug-Impaired Statistics

The Toronto Police have revealed that drug-impaired driving charges are on the rise, up 150 percent this year in comparison to previous years. The increase is significant and alarming to the Toronto Police force. On a positive note, the law enforcement agency stated that alcohol-related charges are down by 7 percent.

Toronto Police revealed that to date, twenty-five drivers have been accused of impaired driving as a result of drug use, an increase of ten drivers at the same time as last year.

The statistics, despite the decrease in impaired driving charges, are alarming. Drivers continue to drive under the influence, be it alcohol or drugs. In both circumstances, being impaired at the wheel can be deadly. Although drivers might feel that drugs do not impair their driving, there are many types of prescription and illegal drugs that will impair the ability of motorists to drive.

Drug impairment can be detected by law enforcement who are trained and certified. Such officers can evaluate a driver’s behaviour and can request either an oral fluid, blood or urine test for sampling.

Drug-Impaired Charges Need to Have a Standard

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) has worked together with the British Columbian government to conduct provincial roadside surveys. These surveys are designed to gather valuable information on the percentage of drivers who test positive for drug and alcohol use while driving. Current laws set limits on the amount of alcohol legally allowed in a driver’s system to operate a motor vehicle. The CCSA is now looking at how to define the limits when it comes to drugs, with the challenge being what limits for what drugs, including prescription drugs.

Whether it’s drugs or alcohol, Young Drivers of Canada wants every driver to remember not to drive while being impaired. If you encounter someone who you suspect may be under the influence and wants to get into their vehicle, Young Drivers of Canada suggests the following tips.

1. Suggest alternate ways of getting home – public transportation, a designated driver or a cab can get you home safely.

2. Don’t get into a confrontation with an impaired individual. Keep calm as confrontation will only escalate the situation.

3. Let the impaired individual know that you care about them and that they can hurt themselves or others if they get into a vehicle while impaired.

4. Try to get the keys. It’s a complicated but easy solution for preventing a driver from operating a vehicle while impaired.

If all else fails, call the police. You may not be the most popular friend but that is secondary when it comes to saving a life!

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