Ottawa police see ‘sharp rise’ in impaired driving charges

Officers say impaired driving charges between January and March 2022 are fast returning to pre-pandemic numbers.

The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is reporting a 25 per cent spike in the number of impairment-related charges laid so far this year in comparison with the same time period last year.

The OPS says a total of 146 charges were laid between January 1 and March 30, 2022, compared with 43 by March 2021.

The service says nearly half of the drivers charged with impaired driving since January 2022 were involved in a collision.

“On average, every 1.3 days, a collision happens as a result of an impaired driver, says Sgt. Troy Froats”

Another trend of concern to police is an increase of inexperienced drivers being investigated for impaired driving. Drivers with a graduated license are not permitted to have alcohol in their system. Those who do are subject to fines and three, seven or 30 day driving suspensions for having a blood alcohol concentration above 0.

Plice add, with the return of the eScooter downtown program and the cycling season set to begin, these numbers are a cause of increased concern for road safety for motorists and vulnerable road users.

The OPS is reminding drivers that impaired driving is not only criminal; it is also dangerous, and ask that everyone make it a habit to plan a sober ride home.

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