We are all aware of the dangers of driving under the influence. However, it appears many people in Ontario are unaware of the consequences. The Ontario Provincial Police state that they witnessed more people driving impaired this past year in comparison to 2022. Additionally, they’ve seen more crashes due to impaired driving — the most Ontario has seen since 2004.

2023 impaired driving stats see an increase

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police stated that there was a rise of 16% in impaired driving cases for 2023. There was a 10% increase in collisions concerning impaired driving. Schmidt stated in a video posted to X that OPP officers cracked down on over 10,000 impaired driving charges in 2023, 215 of them occurring in the last week of the year. “This is far higher than the 319 we saw [in 2022], and we have not seen 400 road fatalities since 2004,” Schmidt says.

During the last seven weeks of 2023, the Ontario Provincial Police conducted their Festive Ride Campaign. That campaign alone saw officers laying over 1,200 fines! Impaired driving has led to the deaths of 49 drivers due to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is a large chunk out of the total of 397 deaths in car crashes for the year 2023.

However, not all charges were due to alcohol or drug use. Schmidt urges drivers to take extra caution and care while driving on Canadian roads in the winter. “Please be a better driver,” Schmidt says. “It may not be icy or snowy where we are here in the GTA, with plus temperatures and rain and wet roads. But, please, drive to the conditions. Slow down, keep your headlights on, please.”

What are the consequences for impaired driving in Ontario?

The consequences of driving under the influence can be severe. To make matters worse, they aren’t just something that will disappear quickly. These consequences can affect your licence and insurance for up to six years if convicted of a charge in court. If you are caught on the roads with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 or higher, first-time offenders can instantly receive a penalty of up to $250 with a suspended licence for three days.

It is important to keep in mind that if your blood alcohol content is much higher than 0.05, or you have been caught driving under the influence in the past, your consequences will be much more severe. For more information on the consequences of impaired driving, check out isure’s article on how a DUI can affect you and your insurance.

How does a DUI affect your car insurance rate?

It comes as no surprise that driving under the influence will take a toll on your insurance in many different ways. Depending on the severity of your conviction, your insurance provider may cancel your policy altogether. However, some companies may maintain your coverage, but raise the rate of your premiums and label you “high risk”. Drivers with a DUI can sometimes pay up to five times more for their car insurance rates in comparison to someone with a clean record. This number will only increase if convicted again.

A high-risk driving policy might be the answer to your insurance inquiries. Impaired driving convictions are one of the leading causes of drivers being labelled high-risk.

If you have any questions about high-risk driving policies or insurance policies in general, contact isure today.  Remember, let’s keep those Ontario roads safe by driving sober and alert!

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