Nova Scotia RCMP is asking motorists to commit to driving sober.
Despite the death and serious injury caused by impaired driving every year; despite the Nova Scotians who lose their children, parents, partners, siblings and friends because of impaired driving; despite all the reasons to drive sober, some people continue to put everyone at risk by driving impaired. For the driver who makes that decision, the consequences can last a lifetime.
“When someone drives impaired, they make a decision that could haunt them for the rest of their lives,” says Cst. Chad Morrison of the Nova Scotia RCMP. “When someone chooses to drive impaired, they risk becoming the person who killed someone’s child or parent.”
In 2016, drugs and/or alcohol were found to be present in 25 fatal or serious injury collisions in Nova Scotia RCMP jurisdiction. Of those, there were 12 cases where alcohol alone was found to be present from blood screening and four cases where drug alone was found. In eight of the cases, both alcohol and drug were found.
Police work to reduce impaired driving in a variety of ways, including setting up checkpoints at strategically selected locations across the province.
When someone is suspected of driving impaired, police will determine impairment through sobriety testing. Sobriety testing comes in a variety of forms, including roadside testing by an Approved Screening Device (ASD), Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) and evaluation by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).
If you have consumed alcohol, police may demand you provide a roadside breath sample for assessment by an ASD. If your sample is above 80mg%, you will need to provide more samples at a police detachment. If those samples exceed 80mg%, you may be charged with impaired driving.
If you have consumed alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs, a police officer may demand you take an SFST. An SFST is a series of standardized tests typically performed roadside.
If a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you have consumed drugs (including prescription drugs) or a combination of alcohol and drugs, they may demand you be evaluated by a DRE, a police officer specially trained to determine drug impairment. This can be done at a detachment. If you are found to be impaired, you could be charged with impaired driving.
Failure or refusal to participate in any type of sobriety testing may result in criminal charges that have the same penalties as impaired driving. These penalties may include jail time, license suspension, fines and/or being sentenced to driver rehab. Newly licensed drivers are subject to different requirements and are not permitted to consume any alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
Reporting impaired driving
If you suspect someone is driving impaired and they are an immediate threat to public safety, call 911.
If it’s safe to do so, make note of the following information, as it will help police respond:
· license plate number
· make and model of the vehicle
· description of the driver
· location of the vehicle and direction of travel
In Nova Scotia, drivers who operate a motor vehicle (regardless of whether it’s in motion) after consuming alcohol or drugs can expect severe fines and penalties, including a $1,000 fine for a first offence and a 12-month Canada-wide driving prohibition. There is also an immediate 90-day Nova Scotia license suspension if the driver is impaired by alcohol.
If you or someone you know may struggle with addiction, visit Nova Scotia Addiction Services (https://novascotia.ca/dhw/addictions/) for free, confidential resources and support.
If you drive impaired, you increase your risk of injuring or killing yourself and others. Help keep roads safe by committing to sober driving.
Source: Media Release