So far this year, the Timmins Police Service has charged a total of 34 persons with impaired driving related offences stemming from incidents that result in collisions or are the direct result of obedient roadway patrols.
Of these 34 persons charged under the Criminal Code with Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle, 13 were deemed to be under the incapacitating influence of controlled substances.
These determinations are based on either onsite analysis or testing procedures conducted at police station by Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officers with the Timmins Police Service.
This translates into a disturbing statistic indicating that 31% of persons arrested and charged with Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle had ingested some form of a controlled substance prior to driving.
In some cases, the motorist is intoxicated based of a combination of the ingestion of narcotics and the consumption of alcohol.
While not all charges have been proven in court, the remaining 21 charged persons were under the exclusive influence of alcohol.
Comparatively, in 2018, the Timmins Police Service charged a total of 97 persons with Impaired Operation contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada.
Of those, 16 charged persons were determined to have impaired faculties due to the ingestion of a controlled substance.
This equates to 16.5% of charged persons being impaired due to drug consumption.
Additionally, in 2019, the Timmins Police Service charged a total of 37 persons with Impaired Operation contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada.
This was a remarkable and encouraging improvement in Impaired Driving statistics.
Of those persons charged, 7 were charged based on DRE determinations regarding impaired faculties due to the ingestion of a controlled substance.
This equates to 19% of charged persons being impaired due to drug consumption.
The marked trend upwards so far this year can be attributed to a number of potential factors:
- An increased number of Timmins Police Service officers trained on drug recognition aptitude and techniques.
- A greater number of persons calling in suspected impaired driving situations
- False or misguided perceptions regarding the level of impairment achievable with the consumption of even modest amounts of any controlled substances.
Whatever the cause for the increase, the Timmins Police view this as a disturbing trend in regards to public safety.
Timmins Police Traffic Sergeant Thomas Chypyha adds “There appears to be a lack of comprehension on the part of those persons who choose to engage in this type of activity. In the simplest terms, the taking to the roadway after having consumed any substance that impairs or adversely alters a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely and responsibly meets the threshold of a criminal act. The Timmins Police Service takes the responsibility of enhancing roadway safety by means of continuous and diligent patrols of public roads very seriously. The tragic and preventable outcomes of this type of comportment speak for themselves.”