Impaired driving can refer to driving a motorized vehicle (automobile, boats, ATVs, snowmobiles) while impaired by any type of drug or medication or combination of drugs, medication and alcohol. These include illegal substances, mind-altering prescription medications, and over-the-counter remedies and medications that affect an individual’s ability to drive safely.
Despite the fact that the incidence of drinking and driving has decreased over the years, the national rates are still too high. Recent studies have also identified a growing concern for driving under the influence of marijuana as a factor in motor vehicle collisions. Marijuana can affect key driving skills such as reaction time, ability to pay attention, and tracking skills.
Driver fatigue and driver distraction (including cell phone use, eating, etc.) can also result in impaired ability to focus on driving. Remember to pull over to a safe place if you plan to use your cell phone in the vehicle.
Here are some points to remember:
- Don't drink any alcohol if you are going to drive.
- Plan ahead if you are going to drink, arrange for a designated driver or taxi.
- Pot and driving don’t mix.
- Some prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines can cause drowsiness, read the packaging before driving.
- Drugs and alcohol together have dangerous effects.
Remember that impaired driving is a crime and you can be convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada. As a result, you may lose your driver's license, be fined, or spend time in jail. Click the following link to find out more about Impaired Driving.
If you suspect someone is impaired and driving, you can now call 911 to report your concern to the police. For a look at the local signage for the ‘Safe Roads…Your Call’ campaign and tips on how to report a suspected impaired driver click Safe Roads Your Call.
Thinking of Drinking? Take a look at this pamphlet.