“Don’t make a decisi­on that will haunt you”: RCMP cautions against impaired driv­ing

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.


Sobriety testing


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

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