Drunk driving on decline in P.E.I., but highway fatalities were up in 2015

Published on February 25, 2016

Transportation Minister Paula Biggar, left, and RCMP Constable Louanne McQuaid examine a roadside screening device used by police to determine if a driver has been drinking alcohol.

©Submitted photo

The rate of impaired driving in Prince Edward Island is gradually declining, according to statistics released Thursday.

But government and policing officials say the fight against drunk driving is far from over.

In 2015, there were 238 impaired driving convictions, a decrease from  241 in 2014, 297 in 2013 and 327 in 2012.

Commanding Officer of RCMP on P.E.I., Chief Supt. Joanne Crampton says police agencies across the Island continue to encounter drivers impaired by alcohol and drugs.

“To have to leave the scene of a motor vehicle collision to knock on someone's door and deliver the message that their loved one has been senselessly killed by an impaired driver is devastating," she said. "It would be great to never have to do it again.”

Transportation Minister Paula Biggar noted the number of people charged and convicted for impaired driving in 2015 was the lowest number on record.

“But we will continue to invest in education and enforcement to drive that number even lower,” said Biggar.

"The people who do this are endangering every user of our roads – including themselves – and I will continue to work to stop them.”

Other highway statistics released Thursday showed the number of highway fatalities were up over recent years.

There were 18 highway fatalities in 2015, compared to 5 in 2014, 15 in 2013 and 11 in 2012.

There were 379 injury collisions in 2015, compared to 390 in 2014, 465 in 2013 and 480 in 2012.

There were 1,544 total collisions in 2015, compared to 1,416 in 2014, 1,558 in 2013 and 1,638 in 2012.