In 2017, Timmins Police charged 35 people with impaired driving.

And while that’s down from the 44 charged in 2016, Police Chief John Gauthier says it’s not good enough.

Going back further, 36 people were charged in 2015.

The statistics were presented to the Police Services Board Thursday, where the board learned of the 35 charged last year, 26 were men and nine were women.

And the average age was 35.7-years old.

Here’s a quick breakdown (age-male/female):

  • January: 2 (55-M, 51-M)
  • February: 2 (27-M, 37-M)
  • March: 3 (23-M, 31-M, 32-M)
  • April: 6 (24-M, 29-F, 39-M, 68-M, 56-M, 27-M)
  • May: 2 (27-M, 28-M)
  • June: 1 (26-M)
  • July: 3 (33-M, 58-M, 35-F)
  • August: 3 (23-F, 28-M, 36-F)
  • September: 2 (49-M, 20-M)
  • October: 3 (52-M, 53-M, 37-F)
  • November: 4 (18-M, 19-F, 37-F, 36-F)
  • December: 4 (27-M, 30-M, 34-M, 45-F)

Gauthier says more drivers have likely been charged in the region. The above numbers only provide a snapshot of work by TPS and doesn’t include any charges laid by the Ontario Provincial Police.

He also pointed to the two drivers charged under age 20—an 18-year old man and 19-year old woman—in the early-morning hours of November 1st (just over an hour apart).

Gauthier—whose son is going through the graduated Driver’s Licensing process—says if anything, the laws in place try and drive the message home at a young age that “it’s zero, don’t even think of even having a beer because even if you register below the legal limit, you can get in trouble.”

According to the MTO, all drivers who are 21 and under, regardless of license class, must have a BAC level of zero when operating a motor vehicle.

If you are a novice driver and are caught with any amount of alcohol in your blood, you will receive an immediate 24-hour roadside driver licence suspension and, if convicted, could face a fine of up to $500 and receive at least a 30-day licence suspension under the novice driver escalating sanctions program.

If you are a fully licensed driver who is 21 years and under and you are caught with alcohol in your blood, you will receive a 24-hour roadside driver license suspension.

If convicted, you could face a fine and a 30-day license suspension.

Gauthier says they spend a lot of time on impaired driving and “unfortunately, the numbers are still there.”

“It would be my hope that at this time next year, if I come back with the same report that we had zeroes in every month in every column,” he said, “We’re certainly doing what we can to reduce the amount of impaired drivers.”

That includes RIDE initiatives both on the road and snowmobile trails.

Mayor Steve Black says it’s “extremely devastating” to see these numbers despite all the media attention surrounding the issue.

He says they’ll continue to urge people to look for alternatives such as taking a taxi, public transit or calling a friend for a ride home.

Filed under: Local News