POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 39 Impaired Driving The Facts: Impaired driving contributes significantly to injury and loss of life. It is a leading criminal cause of death in Canada. Over 34% of motor vehicle fatalities involve alcohol. Direct and indirect costs of alcohol-related crashes in Canada are estimated to be $7.52 billion annually. The operation of any motorized vehicle in Canada legally requires the driver have a blood alcohol concentration under the legal limit of .08 %. Results of a MADD Canada survey showed that 78% of Canadians personally have known someone who has driven a vehicle when they thought they were over the legal limit and 4 out of 10 Canadians acknowledge that they have driven a vehicle when they believe that they were legally impaired. That Was An Expensive Drink! (penalties and fines) Impaired driving can not only have deadly effects and cause suffering of individuals and their families, but perhaps not so well-known is the actual cost to an impaired driver who is convicted for even a first offense. The following information, taken from the Ministry of Transportationís “Break The Law Pay The Price” brochure (2003), itemizes the costs involved in an impaired driving conviction: PUBLIC HEALTH Grey Bruce Hea l th Uni t ITEM COST LEGAL COSTS (estimated range) $2000 - $10000 CRIMINAL CODE FINE $600 Back on track PROGRAM $475 LICENSE REINSTATEMENT FEE $100 INCREASED INSURANCE (estimate) $9000 ($3000 extra per year for 3 years) IGNITION INTERLOCK $1300 TOTAL MINIMUM COST* $13475 (plus applicable taxes on some items) ACTUAL COSTS MAY BE HIGHER *Other potential costs include property damage, loss of employment income and insured and uninsured medical costs. Ontario leads the way in combating drinking and driving through some of the toughest laws and programs in North America, including: • Immediate license suspension • Stiff fines • Longer suspension periods • Mandatory alcohol education and treatment program • Vehicle impoundment • Ignition Interlock program (taken from MTO “Break The Law Pay The Price” brochure, 2003)