Are anti-drunk driving policies tough enough in Ontario to deter impaired motorists from getting behind the wheel?

Judging from the past week or so, the answer is a resounding no.

Monday, the OPP revealed that officers had filed 160 impaired driving charges during the Victoria Day long weekend. (They are still collecting data and say that number could grow).

Additionally, 25 drivers were caught for stunt driving and 16 for dangerous driving. Police said one driver went the wrong way up a ramp in Mississauga. On Thursday, an Orangeville man, 65, was clocked doing 151 km/h in an 80 km/h zone.

Here in Barrie, one driver was arrested for impaired driving after being nabbed at a RIDE spot check.

Symbolically the start of summer, the May holiday instead seems like the start of something a lot less celebratory. But the weekend numbers are not the only reason the OPP is concerned.

In some jurisdictions this year, the numbers are trending in the wrong direction.

In York Region, for example, police have already charged 700 drivers for being impaired in 2016, putting that area on pace to far exceed last year’s totals.

In Toronto, police report an escalation in drug use, where the number of impaired driving charges (not involving alcohol) has jumped 125 per cent over last year at this time.

What is it going to take for people to finally stop this potentially disastrous practice?

It was only two months ago that the Marco Muzzo story was making headlines across the country.

Muzzo admitted to being fall-down drunk when he got behind the wheel and killed three children and their grandfather. He is now serving a 10-year jail term.

Who would ever consider driving drunk knowing the devastating impact the Muzzo tragedy had on the Neville-Lake family?

Yet, people continue to do just that.

Should this disturbing trend continue, the provincial government will have no option but to pursue tougher penalties against impaired drivers.

Our current rules are not getting the job done.


Last updated on: 2016-06-20 | Link to this post