Drug Impaired Driving Rates Increasing in Toronto

August 22, 2017, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

StatsCan released data last month that showed disturbing trends in the battle against impaired driving in general and drug impaired driving specifically. The data show that the self reported rates of drug impaired driving are on the rise. This is in contrast to the police reports that for the fifth year in a row alcohol impaired rates decreased.

The self reported rate for drug impaired driving shows an increase of over 35% in 2016. This is a terrible trend for all of us, particularly given that marijuana use is to be legalized next summer. Police and poly makers are all urging that the government needs to get the word out abou the dangers of drug impaired driving. CBC news reports that Walter Cavalieri, Director, Canadian Harm Reduction Network, is very concerned with the increase.

Mr. Cavalieri has publicly indicated that more needs to be done to get the message out to all Canadians, not just the young ones, what the risks of drug impaired driving are. Many others are concerned that the rates of impaired driving reported by police aren’t actually reflective of reality, but rather of enforcement policies.

Stats Canada also reports that police related offences for drugs other than cannabis and cocaine have been steadily declining since 2010. Interactions for other drug offences involving prescription drugs, opioids, fentanyl rohypnol, (date rape drug), have increase by 7% in 2016.

Drugs (legal or illegal) can impair your ability to operate safely motorized vehicles, impair your judgement, and your reflexes. Driving while drug impaired increases your risk of collision. Marijuana use doubles your risk of being involved in car accident. Drug impaired driving is a criminal offence in Canada. Trained drug recognition officers can determine if you are drug impaired. The penalties are the same as for alcohol impairment, including a criminal record and loss of driving privileges as well as potential jail time.

Like with drinking, if you are going to use drugs you should plan ahead about how you are getting home.  Make sure you have a designated driver, take a cab or car service, use Uber or another rideshare servicep, stay over and sleep it off, call a friend or loved one to pick you up.

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Drunk Driving Accidents

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