Only one impaired charge laid by Southern Georgian Bay OPP marine unit in 2021

“The 2021 OPP annual report was presented to Penetanguishene council recently by Southern Georgian Bay detachment commander Insp. Joe Evans,” as Midland Today reports.

I was surprised by the minimal charges for impaired operation reported, as I had the impression from news reports alone that there was a lot more alcohol-related boating offences happening. It may be that what I’ve been hearing about was alcohol on board rather than impaired operation. At any rate, the marine unit (described by Evans as “the pride of the province”) had laid 16 impaired charges and suspended 13 licenses in 2020. (If you operate a motorized vessel under the influence, you can have the driver’s license for your motor vehicle suspended. Evans said the unit “would much rather see someone get arrested or charged for what they were doing, than having to give someone notification that their family member is not returning.”

The marine unit had 159 calls for service in 2021, only laid one impaired charge and suspended one license. Evans said marine officers “would be told that: ‘No no no, we heard last year that you guys are non-forgiving out here, so we’re playing by the rules.’ Which is exactly what I wanted in the first place.”

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