YELLOWKNIFE (October 3, 2018) – The Department of Infrastructure (INF), with assistance from the RCMP, conducted a roadside drug and alcohol survey from September 26- 29, 2018 in Yellowknife.
The survey was to collect baseline data on the prevalence of impaired driving before the legalization of cannabis on October 17. This data will assist INF in creating educational campaigns that target specific groups based on the frequency of drug and alcohol use.
Drivers were randomly selected for the survey and asked if they would voluntarily participate by answering a series of questions concerning their attitudes, opinions, and knowledge about impaired driving. Participants were also asked to provide an oral fluid sample and breath sample to test for the presence of drugs and alcohol.
All participation and information provided for the survey is confidential and anonymous.
In order to encourage survey participation, drivers who were found to be over the administrative or legal limit for alcohol, or who were suspected of being impaired, were not criminally charged and were instead offered a taxi ride home or, if appropriate, a non-impaired driver was allowed to remove the vehicle from the site.
The survey data will be finalized by the end of this year and will be combined with data from surveys conducted in other Canadian jurisdictions.
INF and the RCMP thank drivers for their participation.
“Road safety is a top priority for the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT). With cannabis set to be legalized on October 17, the data collected during this survey will allow our government to develop informed educational campaigns that will target specific groups of people in the Northwest Territories. Our government appreciates the support from the RCMP and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators. ”
- Wally Schumann, Minister of Infrastructure
"The RCMP were happy to assist in gathering information that will help prepare us for the transition to legalized cannabis on October 17, 2018. It is important to remember that impaired is impaired, whether by alcohol, cannabis, or illegal or prescription drugs. It is illegal to drive impaired in the Northwest Territories and Canada."
- Chief Superintendent Jamie Zettler, Commanding Officer Northwest Territories RCMP
- Cannabis will be legal in Canada as of October 17, 2018.
- INF is responsible for driver and vehicle services and for promoting safe driving in the NWT.
- The roadside survey was funded by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and the GNWT
- Beriness & Associates, Inc., was hired by the GNWT to conduct the survey and has extensive experience in conducting roadside surveys across Canada including Whitehorse, Yukon.
Northwest Territories RCMP
Sgt. Todd C. SCAPLEN
“G” Division Traffic Services