42 27TH ANNUAL CRIME PREVENTION GUIDE AUTOMOBILES: Most young drinking drivers are killed or seriously injured when driving an automobile. Single-vehicle: Young drinking drivers are most likely to be involved in singlevehicle crashes. AT FAULT: In nearly two-thirds of the alcoholrelated multiple vehicle crashes, it was the fatally injured teen driver who had been drinking and not the other drivers. CRASHES: By the time a driver reaches a blood alcohol content of .10%, he or she is 51 times more likely than a non-drinking driver to be involved in a fatal crash. Drug-Impaired Driving Population surveys show the number of Canadians driving after using drugs is on the rise. In fact, driving after smoking cannabis is now more prevalent among some younger drivers than driving after drinking. Survey data from a 2013 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health report showed that, among young Ontario drivers in grades 10 – 12, 4% per cent drove after drinking while 9.7% drove after smoking cannabis. Equally concerning as the numbers is the misperception that many young people, and some parents, have that driving under the influence of cannabis is safer than driving under the influence of alcohol. A national study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada revealed: • Nearly one third (32%) of teens did not consider driving under the influence of cannabis to be as bad as alcohol. • Nearly 25% of parents of teenagers did not consider driving while high on cannabis to be as bad as drinking and driving. Many young people think driving under the influence of cannabis is risk-free. Yet studies have shown that smoking cannabis can produce unwelcome effects behind the wheel, including a shorter attention span, an altered perception of time and distances, and slower reaction times that impair the driver’s ability to respond to sudden events in traffic. A 2012 study by researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax found that smoking cannabis three hours before driving nearly doubled a driver’s risk of having a motor vehicle crash. Combining cannabis with even small amounts of alcohol greatly increases the negative impact on driving skills. Many young people also think that they will never be caught or charged for driving high. While detecting cannabis is more challenging than detecting alcohol because we do not yet have a simple roadside drug test similar to the alcohol breathalyzer, police do have tools to determine whether a driver is impaired by drugs. The standard field sobriety test and the drug recognition evaluation allow police to determine if a driver is under the influence of drugs based on their behaviour and taskrelated tests. Furthermore, driving while high results in the same type of Criminal Code charges and penalties as driving while drunk. YOUTHAND IMPAIREDDRIVING CONTINUED