Police officers in Saskatchewan were busy last month handing out more than 350 impaired driving charges. Police focused on the offence during the month of May.

In total, there were 359 impaired-driving related offences, including:

  • 3 zero Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) offences (applies to new drivers with any BAC level)
  • 5 low BAC offences (applies to experienced drivers with a BAC ranging from .04 to .08)
  • 351 Criminal Code charges such as high BAC (exceeding .08), impaired driving or refusing a breath test

But despite the increased focus, impaired driving charges for April were almost as high — when there were 301. In March, there were 266 charges laid.

In December 2015, police spent the month focusing on impaired driving, 308 charges were laid.  

Drug and alcohol use a factor in fatal collisions

According the the most recent numbers from SGI, in 2014 there were 1,147 alcohol or drug-related collisions, resulting in 61 deaths and 541 injuries. 

Alcohol or drug use was a factor in 43 per cent of fatal collisions in Saskatchewan in 2014.

Slow progress being made, says minister

A special committee was formed by the provincial government in 2013 in an effort to reduce road fatalities. In June 2014, the laws were changed.

Don McMorris, the minister responsible for SGI, said progress has been made.

"We have seen a 13 per cent reduction in the first full year of the changes we've made, roughly about 18 fewer fatalities related to alcohol. We expect these changes to produce results, positive results as we move forward," McMorris said. 

"We're going in the right direction but certainly, us, like every other province, still have some who haven't heard the message or choose to ignore it. We need to work on those numbers."