It’s a story heard a lot these days. Alcohol-related arrests of drivers operating a car under the influence is skyrocketing in many places.
In the Province of Ontario, Canada, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) agency announced that impaired driving arrests were up in January 37% compared to the same time last year. OPP Officers logged 118 impaired driving charges in January, versus 86 charges in January of 2014.
The latest statistics come on the heels a fatal crash on Highway 401 in Whitby that claimed the life of a 51-year-old man. A 31-year-old North York man is facing impaired driving charges. Also, the number of crashes this year is up significantly over last year. Police said 29 people died on OPP-patrolled roads from Jan.1 to Feb. 2, compared to 21 in January of 2014—an increase of 38%.
Under the Highway Traffic Act, there has also been an increase of around 49% in the number of street racing charges in January—103 charges—versus the same month last year—69 charges. Provincially, the number of street racing and criminal driving charges were also up by 46%—185 charges in January and 271 charges in January of 2015, respectively.
The OPP’s Highway Safety Division said officers will continue to crack down on what they call “the Big 4″ — impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving and people not wearing their seatbelts.
Data from Canada from 1986 to 2011 shows the vast majority of those charged with drinking and driving are male. In 2011, there were 90,277 impaired driving incidents with 82.4% charged being males and 19.6% females. However, there’s been a steady increase in impaired female drivers since the 1980s, while the number of impaired male drivers has decreased slightly. Numbers from 2011 also show the highest impaired driving rates occurred within the 20-to-24 age group. The rates decrease with increasing age.