Saskatchewan has the highest per capita number of impaired driving fatalities in Canada. This week our government took further action to prevent impaired driving in Saskatchewan. Effective January 1, 2017, amendments to the Traffic Safety Act will:
· Add a three-day vehicle seizure for experienced drivers who are charged for the first time with having a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .04;
· Apply zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol to drivers 21 and under; and
· Strengthen ignition interlock laws to be the most effective in Canada, by extending mandatory ignition interlock to drivers who register a BAC over .16 or refuse to provide a breath sample (1st offence - two years; 2nd offence - five years; 3rd and subsequent offence - 10 years).
Our government also continues to explore other avenues to bring down the number of impaired driving deaths and injuries, including closer examination of the full B.C. model. Our government has also committed to further support law enforcement efforts through more tools and funding.
To combat distracted driving, and in response to recommendations from law enforcement, government is also strengthening cellphone legislation by changing the offence to “holding, viewing, using or manipulating” a mobile device while driving, instead of the current “using” a mobile device.