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Driving Sober 101 – Make a plan, before you’re impaired

Higher education shouldn’t equal driving high
impaired driving
In 2020, 32 per cent of all drivers involved in impaired driving collisions in Saskatchewan were between the age of 18 and 25 according to SGI.

Whether it’s online or in the halls, students are returning to post-secondary institutions across Saskatchewan this month and that’s exciting.

Along with textbooks and term papers, heading back to school means additional opportunities to socialize, so the September Traffic Spotlight on impaired driving is focusing on reminding young adults about the importance of making safe choices (whether or not they are attending a post-secondary institution.)

In 2020, 32 per cent of all drivers involved in impaired driving collisions in Saskatchewan were between the age of 18 and 25.

Driving impaired, whether by drugs or alcohol has serious consequences. Amy Kaufmann lost her brother, Tanner, when an impaired driver hit him while he was pulled over at the side of the road in 2016.

“This was not an accident that killed Tanner,” Amy said. “An impaired driver made the choice to get into a vehicle and drive. That selfish decision put others in danger and it cost my brother his life.”

“This isn’t a lecture and it’s not some theoretical classroom exercise,” said Penny McCune, chief operating officer of the Auto Fund. “Impaired driving is a real problem, with real consequences, and it’s something that disproportionately affects young adults.”

As a new driver (anyone 21 or under, as well as all learner and novice drivers) getting caught driving with any amount of drugs or alcohol in your system will result in a minimum 60-day licence suspension, an immediate vehicle impoundment and hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in fines, fees and Safe Driver Recognition penalties (plus additional classwork in the form of mandatory impaired driving education classes). These aren’t consequences anyone needs when you’re just getting started on your own.

“The health, safety, and well-being of our students is ‑ and always will be ‑ a top priority for the University of Regina,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen. “We fully support SGI's and MADD's initiatives to raise awareness about the consequences of driving impaired, and the University will continue to be an advocate for healthy and safe decisions both on our campuses and in the wider community.”

Making decisions once you’re impaired can be difficult, especially when you’re in a new community or out with new people. SGI suggests you plan for a safe ride home before you head out to socialize. Arrange for your group to have a designated driver, leave your vehicle at home and make a plan to take a taxi, rideshare or designated driving service.

Study tip: download the SGI Safe Ride App to your phone which can tell you what services are available in your community, and save a list of designated drivers you can call if needed). And don’t be too proud; if Mom or Dad always told you that they’d come get you if you ever needed a safe ride home, take them up on the offer and call if plans change.

SGI will be sharing more tips and consequences of impaired driving on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook throughout September. More information on impaired driving can be found on the SGI website at