Impaired driving is the largest criminal cause of death and injury in Canada. In an average year, more than 1,200 people die as a result of impaired driving and more than 71,500 are injured (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health).
Most people equate impaired driving with alcohol use, however, in reality there are many substances both legal and illegal which cause impairment. Substances such as alcohol, cough, cold and allergy medications, sedatives, and painkillers reduce motor co-ordination because they slow your response time. When alcohol is combined with other depressant drugs the effect is more intense and dangerous. It is best to check with a pharmacist whenever taking prescription or over the counter medications and refrain from driving if necessary.
In Haldimand-Norfolk, the Operation Lookout program increases the chance that impaired drivers will be caught and prosecuted. This program encourages residents to anonymously call 911 if they spot an impaired driver. The caller has no further responsibility other than to report the location, direction of travel and the license plate of the vehicle. The police treat the call as an emergency and will dispatch a police officer to the location reported. Since the Operation Lookout program began, the number of calls reporting impaired drivers has increased six-fold and the number of impaired drivers charged and prosecuted has increased. Please do your part and report impaired drivers by calling 911.
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