Drunk driving deaths up in Saskatchewan in 2016: SGI

A total of 57 people were killed in Saskatchewan in 2016 in collisions involving alcohol, according to information released by SGI this week.

46% of all collision fatalities in the province involved alcohol

The number of people who died in impaired driving collisions was up in 2016. (Shutterstock)

A total of 57 people were killed in Saskatchewan in 2016 in collisions involving alcohol, according to information released by SGI this week.

According to the insurance agency—which tracks statistics related to vehicle collisions, injuries and deaths—29 of the deaths occurred on provincial highways, 15 on rural roads, seven on urban streets and six on First Nations roads.

Saskatchewan's rate of impaired drivers is the highest in Canada. Nearly half of all fatal traffic collisions in the province— at 46 per cent —involved alcohol.
In Saskatchewan, 57 people were killed by impaired drivers last year. (SGI)

About 37 per cent of all traffic deaths on urban streets involved alcohol. That figure was close to 40 percent on provincial highways, 58 per cent on rural roads and 86 per cent on First Nations roads.

9 pedestrians killed

Although most people killed in impaired driving collisions were behind the wheel, 11 were passengers and nine were pedestrians. 

Young people, ages 16-21 appear to be most at-risk for roadway deaths involving alcohol, statistics show.

While people in that age group make up only 9 per cent of drivers, they are involved in 19 per cent of collisions.

Unsurprisingly, the most collisions occur on Saturday and Sunday, with the least on Monday and Tuesday.

People are more at risk in the months of February and May and the least at risk in January and November.

What's being done?

In January, the province got tougher on impaired driving.

Drivers 21 and under and all new drivers are not permitted to have any alcohol in their system. Those on their third impaired driving offense now face 10 years in jail. 

During Wednesday's throne speech, the provincial government said it would press municipalities to allow ride-sharing services within their jurisdictions as a means of decreasing fatalities.

In just three months, over 15,000 people reportedly attempted to book an Uber ride within Saskatchewan.