In Canada, it is a Criminal Code offence to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Facts about drinking and driving:
- In Saskatchewan, a drinking driver is involved in four out of every 10 fatal collisions.
- There is a drinking driver in one out of 11 collisions where someone is injured.
- Between 1:30 and 3 a.m., every eighth driver is legally impaired by alcohol.
- On average, throughout most evenings, every 32nd driver is legally impaired by alcohol.
- Alcohol, although legal, is an addictive drug that depresses the central nervous system (brain) and may change your mood and behaviour.
The impairing effects of alcohol and drugs
Alcohol and drugs affect everyone differently. Contributing factors for impairment include age, gender, physical condition, amount of food consumed, medication and other factors.
The brain functions first affected by alcohol or drug consumption are not only important to our ability to drive safely, but are the same ones required to make rational decisions about not driving after drinking. For this reason, you must make the decision to separate drinking and drug use from driving. Make the necessary alternate transportation plans before your activities begin.
Prescriptions, over-the-counter and illegal drugs all affect your brain function. Some will directly affect your driving. Brain and body activity may be slowed, directly impacting a driver’s reaction time; vision may be blurred, or doubled, or there may be inaccurate depth perception. Some drugs cause hallucinations, paranoia, disorientation, anxiety or over-confidence which may result in aggressive behaviour.
Many people think that driver impairment is caused exclusively by ingestion of alcohol. However, if that person already has another drug in their system, the impairing effect on the functioning of the central nervous system (brain) is far greater than the impairing effect of the alcohol and the impairing effect of the other drugs added together; it is not a simple adding together of impairment, but rather a multiplier effect!
Do not drive while under the influence of any amount of alcohol or drugs.
Note: Impaired driving legislation is applicable to impairment by alcohol, as well as impairment by any other drug.
For additional information on drinking, drugs and driving, please visit SGI - Drinking, drugs and driving.