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Ottawa police warn of observed uptick in impaired driving

Ottawa police are warning of an apparent increase in impaired driving in the capital.

In a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Ottawa police said 23 drivers were charged with impaired driving offences in the last week.

"Nine of these charges are a result of collisions, where people have been seriously injured," police said. "One driver had 4x the legal limit (blood alcohol content)."

Police said 613 drivers have been charged with driving impaired so far this year, compared to 535 in all of 2022.

Sgt. Amy Gagnon told CTV News Ottawa that the observed increase in impaired driving charges is worrying.

"We're seeing an increase in the number of drivers that are being charged with impaired driving and that means there are lot of other drivers who are driving impaired who are not being stopped. That's concerning because that's a safety issue for everyone," she said.

The other issue is that drivers are being charged with impaired driving at all hours of the day.

"It used to be a lot more common in the evening and early hours," Gagnon said. "What we're seeing is we have impaired drivers at 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m.; this is when roads are busy and schools are starting and getting out."

Gagnon said the police service's main message about impaired driving is that it's preventable.

"If you're going to get behind the wheel, it's a privilege. Take that privilege seriously and don't consume any alcohol or drugs. Drive sober." Top Stories

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