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Nearly 1,000 new Saskatchewan drivers suspended in 2023, SGI says

Nearly 1,000 new Saskatchewan drivers had their licence suspended in 2023, after driving impaired from alcohol or drugs.

In total, 982 new drivers accounted for more than 33 per cent of 2023’s impaired driving administrative suspensions. New drivers only account for nine per cent of all licensed drivers in the province.

“This isn’t about spoiling anyone’s good time; it’s about reminding all drivers, including new ones, that you’ve always got options to find a safe ride home,” JP Cullen, the Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund said.

“Choosing not to drive impaired will keep you safe and keep you out of trouble.”

SGI said a new driver is classified as anyone who is in the graduated driver licensing program or is age 21 and under.

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Experienced drivers — people who are 22 years old or older and are no longer a Learner or Novice — cannot legally drive with a blood-alcohol concentration above .04.

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“We want new drivers to understand that there is zero tolerance for alcohol and drugs,” SGI spokesperson Tyler McMurchy said. “We’re seeing these young drivers, these new drivers overrepresented in our provincial statistics.

“We want to keep them safe, and we want to keep them out of trouble.”

In February, police officers across the province detected 449 impaired driving offences, laying 171 Criminal Code charges and issuing 278 administrative suspensions.

Officers also issued 440 citations for distracted driving (including 372 for using a cellphone while driving), 245 occupant restraint tickets (for not wearing a seatbelt, or not having children in the proper car seat or booster) and 3,694 tickets for other speeding or aggressive driving offences.

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