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SGI warns of impaired driving risks after nearly 1,000 new drivers suspended in 2023

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Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is taking the opportunity to educate novice drivers on the risk of impaired driving after 982 residents had their licenses suspended in 2023.

“Don’t drink alcohol or take cannabis (or any other drugs) and then drive. Not even a little bit,” SGI’s news release read.

New drivers held nine per cent of Saskatchewan licences last year — but accounted for 33 per cent of the administrative suspensions.

“This isn’t about spoiling anyone’s good time; it’s about reminding all drivers, including new ones, that you’ve always got options to find a safe ride home,” said JP Cullen, COO of SGI’s Auto Fund.

“Choosing not to drive impaired will keep you safe and keep you out of trouble.”

Anyone who is in the Graduated Driver Licensing Program or under the age of 21 are classified as new drivers.

Drivers who are 22 and older, and who are no longer learner or novice drivers, cannot legally drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above .04.

All drivers, regardless of age or classification, are subject to Saskatchewan’s zero tolerance laws for drug-impaired driving.

Drivers face a license suspension of at least 60 days and a vehicle impoundment of three days if officers detect alcohol or drugs.

Administrative roadside suspensions also come with the requirement of a mandatory impaired driver education course and four demerits under the safe driver recognition program.

In its February traffic safety spotlight report, SGI said Saskatchewan police reported:

  • 449 impaired driving offences, including 171 Criminal Code charges and 278 administrative suspensions.
  • 440 tickets for distracted driving, including 372 for use of a cellphone.
  • 245 tickets for not wearing a seatbelt or not having children in proper car or booster seats.
  • And 3,694 tickets for other speeding or aggressive driving offences.

More information on drug and alcohol limits, and driver classifications in Saskatchewan can be found on SGI's website.

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