As Nova Scotia’s Provincial Police, road safety is a top priority. In an effort to keep citizens informed about enforcement on our roadways, the Nova Scotia RCMP will begin today releasing quarterly provincial statistics on drivers charged for driving impaired by drugs or alcohol.
“The sad reality is that driving impaired is a main factor in many fatal or serious injury collisions on our roads,” says Insp. Dan Murchison, Officer in Charge of Nova Scotia RCMP Traffic Services. “Strategic patrols, checkpoints and calls from the public help us identify impaired drivers every day, however many people still choose to get behind the wheel and drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”
From January 1 to March 31, 2017, Nova Scotia RCMP responded to 19 collisions involving serious injuries and seven fatal collisions. As well, members charged 184 drivers with impaired related offences.
·155 charged with Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle by Alcohol
·15 charged with Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle by Drug
·14 charged with Refusal.
·88 issued driving suspensions for Operating a Motor Vehicle While Having Consumed Alcohol.
Insp. Murchison adds, “It’s our hope that by sharing these stats quarterly, we can keep the topic top of mind for motorists and paint a clear picture of what the RCMP is seeing on the road.”
In Nova Scotia there are close to 200 RCMP members who have received specialized training to detect impaired drivers. When pulling someone over for suspected impairment, police officers have a number of options to determine whether or not drivers are operating while impaired, such as administering a Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST) or Alcohol Screening Device. They can also return to the detachment to have a Breath Technician determine blood alcohol content or a Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) conduct a Drug Influence Evaluation (series of physical tests). Impaired driving investigations can be complex, especially when they involve both alcohol and drugs which is why DREs are trained to determine if a person is suffering from the effects of illegal or prescription drugs, illness or fatigue.
Failure or refusal to comply can result in criminal charges that have the same penalties as impaired driving. There are range of fines and periods of driving prohibition for those convicted of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Insp. Murchison adds, “We want to thank drivers who have reported suspected impaired drivers and we encourage citizens to call 911 immediately if you see a driver who is driving erratically or unsafely and could be impaired.”
Here are some signs of an impaired driver:
• Driving unreasonably fast, slow or at an inconsistent speed
• Drifting in and out of lanes
• Tailgating and changing lanes frequently
• Making exceptionally wide turns
• Changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance
• Overshooting or stopping well before stop signs or stop lights
• Disregarding signals and lights
• Approaching signals or leaving intersections too quickly or slowly
• Driving without headlights, failing to lower high beams or leaving turn signals on
• Driving with windows open in cold or inclement weather
Once you call 911, you will be asked to provide the following:
· Your location
· A description of the vehicle, including the license plate number, color, make and model
· The direction of travel for the vehicle
· A description of the driver if visible
Source: Media Release