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Impaired driving is still a leading cause of car accidents

Incredibly, despite years of advertising campaigns and increased police intervention, impaired driving is still a major issue on the streets of Ontario. Statistics Canada recently posted facts and figures for 2015 regarding car accidents and impaired driving. They reveal that, although numbers have been in decline for many years, the number of drunk drivers is still significant. Additionally, the rate of drug-impaired drivers has been on the rise for several years.

In 2015, police across the country reported more than 72,000 impaired driving incidents. This number is high, but at a converted rate of 201 incidents per 100,000 citizens, it is the lowest figure since data was first collected in 1986. In contrast, drug-impaired driving incidents have more than doubled in number since 2009. There were 3,000 drug-related incidents in 2015.

It may be of some comfort to know that Ontario had the lowest rate of drug-impaired accidents of all province and territories. Only 5 percent of Ontarians admitted to driving within an hour of having two or more drinks. However, 76 percent of them had done so more than once.

Frustratingly, police did not charge 71 percent of alcohol-impaired drivers they apprehended under the Criminal Code. This may in part be due to an increased number of drivers charged under provincial law. For drug-impaired drivers, 59 percent were released without charges. Charge rates are projected to increase for drug impairment incidents as laws develop to more thoroughly address the issue.

While the decreasing incidences of drunk driving is heartening, any number greater than zero indicates the possibility of car accidents occurring. If a person is injured in an accident with an impaired driver, he or she has the right to speak with a personal injury lawyer about what to do next. A skilled lawyer knows the right paths to follow when seeking appropriate compensation.

Source: statcan.gc.ca, "Impaired driving in Canada, 2015", Samuel Perreault, Accessed on March 27, 2017

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