Keeping the roads safe from impaired drivers is always a priority for the Halton Police.
Some fairly recent changes made their job a little bit easier last year.
In 2018 the Canadian government introduced Bill C-46, the most comprehensive change to the Criminal Code transportation regime in over 40 years.
Bill C-46, in regards to drug-impaired driving came into effect on June 21, 2018. This bill permits police officers to use additional tools, such as roadside oral fluid drug screeners, enacts new driving offences of being over a prohibited blood drug concentration, and allows for blood samples to be collected without requiring a driver to first undergo a drug recognition evaluation.
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The part of Bill C-46 in regards to alcohol-impaired driving came into effect on Dec. 18, 2018. These changes include, but are not limited to, the introduction of mandatory alcohol screening and the introduction of some new and higher mandatory minimum fines, as well as some higher maximum penalties for impaired driving.
As a result of the changes to the Criminal Code, as well as changes to the Highway Traffic Act, Halton Police were able to crack down on impaired driving in 2018.
In 2018 alone, according to a recent press release, Halton Police conducted 3,116 roadside tests – an increase of more than 20 per cent over from 2017.
Police arrested 593 motorists in total regarding impaired driving offences – a seven per cent increase from 2017.
Halton Police issued 565 roadside suspensions which was also a seven per cent increase from 2017. According to police, 33 of the 565 roadside suspensions were issued to repeat offenders.
Police officers conducted a total of 969 roadside tests during the December 2018 R.I.D.E. program. This was almost double the number of tests conducted during the December 2017 R.I.D.E. program.
Also during the December 2018 R.I.D.E program, Halton Police arrested a total of 58 motorists for impaired offences – 20 per less than the impaired arrests made during the December 2017 R.I.D.E. program.
So, what does 2019 hold for the Halton Police?
Road safety will continue to be a priority.
“The number of roadside tests our officers conducted last year is a clear signal that our Service is increasing momentum when it comes to enforcement of impaired driving,” Deputy Chief Nishan (Nish) Duraiappah said in the press release.
“Ultimately, those drivers that choose to engage in these behaviours are putting all road users at risk. We continue to seek opportunities to be innovative in how we mitigate any threat to community safety and well-being in our region. Our residents deserve our best.”
Graphic is courtesy of Halton Police.