The Lambton Drug Awareness Action Committee will launch its annual Purple Ribbon Campaign this Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 at 10:00am to bring attention and awareness to impaired driving; especially collisions that are caused by impaired drivers.
This year the committee will be placing 2 Purple Ribbons at the intersection of Modeland Road and Michigan Avenue starting at 10:00am and a third Purple Ribbon will be placed at the intersection of Mitton Street and George Street at 11:00am.
This year’s Purple Ribbons will symbolize a respectful remembrance of the 10 and 20 year anniversaries of two (among many) local fatal collisions tragically caused by impaired drivers.
On November 7, 1997, Michael Parkes along with his friend and co-worker Gary Abbey were killed in a drunk driving collision at the intersection of Modeland Road and Michigan Avenue. On January 4th, 2007, Roberta Macintosh was also killed by a drunk driver near the intersection of Mitton Street and George Street.
Impaired Driving is still an ongoing issue in our community. In 2016, the Sarnia Police Service experienced an increase of seven ‘impaired by alcohol’ charges with 46 in total compared to 39 in 2015. Additionally, three drivers refused to provide breath samples in 2015 compared to nine drivers in 2016. In these cases the drivers were charged accordingly with Refusing to Provide a Breath Sample which carries the same penalties as Impaired Driving upon conviction.
Also, three drivers in 2015 along with three drivers in 2016 were charged with Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle by Drug. Furthermore, 29 alcohol related driving suspensions were issued in 2015 compared to 22 suspensions in 2016.
The Sarnia Police Service would like to remind motorists this holiday weekend to think before you drink. Please plan ahead and be a responsible driver. Remember that the offence of Impaired Driving applies to any motorized vehicle, vessel or aircraft and that “impairment” can be by alcohol or drug including prescription drugs. Always exercise caution.