Drinking and driving and drug-impaired driving is a problem that cuts across all demographics and socio-economic experiences, said Western Region Chief Crown Attorney Ingrid Brodie, said the public safety hazards the problem presents cut across all aspects of society and affect all community members.

“I think it’s one of the most common offences we see before the court,” said Brodie, a crown attorney for the past 18 years. “The police are very concerned about public safety surrounding drinking and driving and drug impaired driving.”

Some people consider drinking and driving and drug-impaired driving a problem associated with young people. However, adding impairment by drugs or alcohol to the equation creates a significant public safety hazard regardless of a drivers’ experience level.

Brodie said Crown attorneys have always taken a very serious approach to drunk driving cases. They’ve had cases go all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada that led to legislative changes to enhance prosecutions. There are often very technical legal issues involved and the Crown attorneys in the western region haven’t shied away.

“We’ve always been keenly interested to make sure cases are done as effectively as possible,” Brodie said.

She said police place a high priority on impaired driving when it comes to allocating resources to deter and stop the practice. With a strong emphasis placed on education in recent years, it has hit home with many community members that the next victim of impaired driving could be a loved one.

Brodie said there has been a big increase in the number of citizens calling police with concerns about the possibility other drivers are operating while intoxicated. This has helped detect impaired drivers and get them off the streets. The idea that it doesn’t matter what time of day it is seems to have resonated with the public as well. It isn’t just when the bars close that you should be concerned over impaired drivers on the road.

The vigilance of the community has increased safety in the community,” Brodie said. “The police want those calls.”

She pointed out police would rather get such a call, check it out and find there was nothing to be concerned with than not get the call at all.

For example, Brodie said she once called police in the middle of the day to alert them to a vehicle on the highway that might be operated by an impaired driver. Police looked into it and found the driver was not impaired but experiencing health problems that were affecting his driving. Police were able to offer the man assistance and deal with a potentially dangerous situation.

Source: Nova News Now

Last updated on: 2012-10-08 | Link to this post