Thunder Bay Police and Zone Watch are reaching out to the community to reduce the number of impaired driving incidents on city roads.
There are significant legal and personal ramifications of impaired driving, and Thunder Bay Police want to reach out to the community to find ways of preventing this dangerous, and sometimes deadly, mistake.
Thunder Bay Police Service and Zone Watch launched a new impaired driving initiative at the Lakehead University Outpost on Tuesday, which is meant to directly engage the public to reduce the number of impaired driving offences on area roads.
Zone Watch is a public engagement tool that allows volunteers to directly engage with officers and bring forward issues and work together toward finding solutions.
“This is different because it involves the members of the community directly,” said Const. Mark Cattani of the Thunder Bay Police. “So rather than the police just putting out a message saying don’t drink and drive, what this does it brings in actual citizens input, what they would like to see, how they would like to see it, and it really engages the community.”
Cattani said the number of impaired drivers, both from alcohol and drugs, has been on the rise in the last few years, something he says is very disheartening.
The campaign includes a series of online videos aimed at youth warning them not to impair their future by drinking and driving. Cattani said the videos and launching the campaign at Lakehead University is meant to reach out to youth in particular.
“Drinking and driving is unfortunately committed most largely by the 20 to 24-year-old demographic,” he said. “This seemed to be an appropriate place to launch our message. We want to remind people that there are significant criminal and financial ramifications of drinking and driving and I think we are reaching the right audience.”
People arrested for drinking and driving will have their license suspended for 90 days, have their vehicle impounded for seven days, and may receive a criminal record, increased insurance rates, or further license suspensions in the future.