Posted on 12/15/2013, 1:32 pm, by

On average, every five days someone in Manitoba is killed or seriously injured in an impaired driving collision. With the festive season now upon us, Manitoba Public Insurance is reminding all motorists that in addition to the human cost of impaired driving, there’s also the economic cost to consider.

Earlier this month ─ December 1 ─ a new provincial law came into effect. Motorists caught drinking and driving move down five levels on Manitoba Public Insurance’s Driver Safety Rating (DSR) upon receiving a roadside administrative suspension for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between .05 to .08 percent, or failing a physical coordination test. The new law also impacts drivers who receive roadside suspensions for registering a BAC over .08 percent, or for refusing to provide a breath sample. Criminal Code convictions for impaired driving already result in downward movement on the DSR scale.

“Manitoba is committed to being one of the toughest provinces in Canada in the battle against drinking drivers, and these changes reinforce this commitment.” said Justice Minister Andrew Swan, minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance.

“The message is very clear ─ drinking and driving is not acceptable. For drivers who still don’t get the message, this new law will impact their Basic Autopac discount and cost of their driver’s licence. This is just one more way we are encouraging Manitobans to make the right choice not to drive after drinking.”

Police will also have an increased presence on Manitoba roadways during the festive season. RCMP, Brandon Police Service, and Winnipeg Police Service have all launched their successful roadside Checkstop projects to keep Manitoba roads safe throughout this holiday season.

“Having a good plan before heading out is key to avoiding a tragedy”, said MaryAnn Kempe, vice-president, Community & Corporate Relations, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“There is no excuse for drinking and driving. There are many options available for those who choose to consume alcohol ─ call Operation Red Nose, have a designated driver, hire a taxi, stay overnight, call a sober friend or family member to drive you home.”

Quick Statistics

  • Forty percent of people killed in alcohol-related collisions in Manitoba are under the age of 25.
  • One in three people killed on Manitoba roads each year dies in an impaired driving crash.
  • More than half of young drivers (aged 16 to 24) in Canada who admit to driving when they were over the legal limit, say they did so with passengers in the vehicle.
  • Nearly one half of grade 11 and 12 students in Manitoba have been a passenger with a driver who had consumed alcohol within an hour of driving.

“Alcohol-related crashes are 100 per cent preventable,” said Kempe. “That’s why we’re asking Manitoba drivers to make this one of the safest holiday seasons ever on our roadways.

“Safer streets and highways mean fewer collisions, fewer fatalities and injuries. Manitoba Public Insurance is focused on road safety and committed to reducing alcohol-related deaths and injuries.”