Toronto

High number of impaired drivers frustrates police on Victoria Day weekend

Police across Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area are expressing frustration after a Victoria Day long weekend that saw a high number of impaired driving charges laid against motorists on the province's roads and highways.

'What's it going to take to get the message?' York Regional Police deputy inspector asks

OPP Const. Graham Williamson says "one is too many" when asked about the number of impaired driving charges on Ontario roads and highways over the Victoria Day weekend. (CBC)

Police across Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area are expressing frustration after a Victoria Day long weekend that saw a high number of impaired driving charges laid against motorists on the province's roads and highways.

"You have to understand, one is too many,"  Ontario Provincial Police Const. Graham Williamson told CBC News when asked about the number of impaired drivers on Ontario roads.

Police will have the final tally later this week, but by Monday afternoon the OPP said they had laid 160 impaired-driving charges.

In addition, provincial police said they had pulled 25 cars off the road for stunt-driving and laid another 16 dangerous driving charges.

"Unfortunately there is room for an upward movement in that number," Williamson said.

That's borne out by the overall numbers in York Region, where regional police say they've already laid nearly 700 impaired driving charges less than halfway through 2016.

Ontario Provincial Police had a busy long weekend on the roads, laying numerous impaired-driving, dangerous-driving and stunt-driving charges. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

In 2015, York regional police police laid 1,200 impaired driving charges in total.

"It is probably 30-35 per cent of our work on a daily basis." York Deputy Inspector Gary Miner said.

Miner says his force has been cracking down, laying 10 charges since Friday, and that doesn't include those drivers who blow in the warning range.

"What's it going to take to get the message ...? We have those nasty, nasty reminders of people getting killed and people are not getting it," Miner told CBC News. 

In Toronto, police have been charging more drivers with driving under the influence of drugs, according to Constable Craig Brister.

"Last year [at this time] we had 10. This year as of May 1st we're up to 25. That's a 150 per cent increase," Brister said.

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