Local drivers kicked off the new year on the wrong foot, with Greater Sudbury police laying charges against 23 impaired driving suspects in January.
“Not a good start to 2023, folks,” police said in a recent statement to social media.
The bad start to the year follows a slight drop with last year’s impaired driving incidents total.
In 2022, Greater Sudbury police laid 290 impaired driving charges, including 78 involving drugs and 188 involving alcohol. There were 24 people who refused to comply with a demand for testing.
In 2021, there were a total of 338 impaired-driving incidents, including 158 involving drugs and 171 involving alcohol. There were nine people who refused to comply with a demand for testing.
Drug- and alcohol-impaired drivers are first accessed physically. While motorists impaired by alcohol can then be tested by a roadside screening device (breathalyzer), those impaired by drugs are further accessed physically by drug recognition experts at police headquarters.
The city’s Traffic Management Unit conducted two Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) spot checks last weekend, during which they screened 436 drivers. Of these drivers, the following charges were laid:
- Four drivers were charged with Operation while Impaired
- One driver was charged for refusing a breath sample
- Three drivers were issued three-day driver’s licence suspensions for having a blood-alcohol concentration within the provincial warn range (between 0.05 and 0.079)
- Eleven provincial offence notices were issued
Police encourage residents to continue phoning 911 when they see evidence of impaired driving.
There’s an exemption in the Highway Traffic Act that allows people to use their phones to dial 911 in emergency situations, and Chief Paul Pedersen affirmed that suspected cases of impaired driving are, in fact, emergencies.
In addition to impaired driving statistics, Greater Sudbury police noted on Thursday that they’d received 1,059 calls for service in the past week, not including online reports. They included:
- 122 routine traffic stops
- 50 domestic disputes
- 25 suspicious persons calls
City police can be contacted by phoning 911 in an emergency, and 705-675-9171 in a non-emergency. Their online reporting system is available at gsps.ca/en/reporting/reporting.aspx.
Click here for a presentation by Greater Sudbury police on how impaired driving incidents are dealt with.
Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.