SGI is reminding those hoping to enjoy drinks with friends and families over the holidays to plan a safe ride home.

"There are definitely going to be people getting together with their friends and family and those gatherings will often involve alcohol or other impairing substances," said Media Relations Manager, Tyler McMurchy. "So we want people to think about the reasons that they should always plan a safe ride home and we want them to encourage their friends and family to do the same."

He emphasized the ramifications of getting behind the wheel while impaired.

"The consequences of driving impaired can can vary, whether you are a new or experienced driver, and the level of impairment, and the circumstances of the the offense," he clarified. "Generally speaking you're looking at license suspensions and vehicle impoundments and that starts immediately. Even with low levels of alcohol, you're an experienced driver over .04 and under .08 will still get your vehicle impounded, your license suspended for at least three days and and those those numbers go up." 

"If you are a repeat offender, then when you're looking at Criminal Code charges, if you're charged under Criminal Code with impaired driving or an impaired driving offence that's found in the Criminal Code, I should say you will have your license suspended indefinitely, your vehicle impounded for at least 30 days, and then you'll have to go through that process of dealing with that criminal charge."

So, how to avoid impaired driving charges?

"One of the things that we always talk about is the importance of making a plan, understanding that if you're going out, and you're going to be celebrating the holidays, and you know what? You should, we all deserve it, after the years we've had, a couple of years we've had now," commented McMurchy. "We need to make a plan and we need to do so responsibly, and depending on what's available in your community, if there are taxis or or public transit or other safe ride options."

He said even if there are no safe ride options available, making a plan to have a a sober designated driver in your group, one person who stays sober and make sure that everybody gets home safe at the end of the night."

He said another option is to stay overnight, sleep it off, and drive home the next day when you're no longer impaired.

"These are all preferable options to driving impaired. Nobody should ever get behind the wheel if they're impaired. Even if they think it's going to be a short ride, down a quiet road. Unfortunately, that's a lot where a lot of the fatal impaired driving collisions happen, and again, that's not something we want to see happen, ever."

New Year's Eve is this Friday, so there's still a good amount of time to plan a safe ride home, and ensure everyone makes it to see 2022.