Impaired driving - A moment of weakness can cause disastrous consequences

May 10, 2021 - Defence Stories

By: Krysta Hein, SJS J4 Tn, DND Road and Vehicle Safety Program.

National Road Safety Week
Caption

DND National Road Safety Week
May 10-16 2021

Impaired Driving
Make the right decision
You can make a difference

8 Hours
Alcohol consumption – drivers shall not drink 8 hours before driving
24 Hours
Cannabis consumption
Cannabis is prohibited 24 hours before driving
Medications
Some of them can also weaken your faculties. Ask the pharmacist about the effects.
(Prescription or over the counter)

With reports of increased alcohol and drug consumption reported in individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recent legalisation of cannabis, it comes as no surprise that this year’s DND National Road Safety Week’s focus will be on “Impaired Driving.” During the week of 10-16 May, you will see no shortage of promotional banners, posters, and other supporting information on all bases to aide in DND’s pursuit to promote safe driving in our military communities, on and off duty!

According to a report released by the Canadian Safety Council (CSC) in spring 2020, 18% of individuals had reported an increase of alcohol consumption, the pandemic can be seen as a new contributing factor. The CAF Master Driver, Chief Warrant Officer Patrick Bergevin, voiced concern in the rising numbers. “With an increase in consumption noted at the beginning of the pandemic, being a year in now, the danger of a further increase exists. Alcohol, cannabis, over-the-counter, and prescription medications can all impact judgment, coordination, and reaction time behind the wheel.”

“We remind all DND drivers that alcohol is prohibited eight (8) hours before driving and the use of cannabis is prohibited a full 24 hours before driving. Finally, please check with your pharmacist about possible effects of medications,” added Chief Warrant Officer Patrick Bergevin.

Lieutenant-Colonel Regis Bellemare, Strategic J4 Transportation, commented on how the numbers hit even closer to home. “The annual report released by CAF Provost Marshal confirms that impaired driving remains a significant road safety concern across the Canadian Armed Forces.” In the 2019/2020 report, 183 impaired driving traffic offences were observed, that is up from the 168 that were observed in 2018. “Every driver can make the right decision not to drive under the influence.”

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