As part of a province-wide initiative, St. Albert RCMP is cracking down on impaired drivers.

Officers nabbed an impaired driver within 15 minutes of setting up a Checkstop early Saturday morning. They charged two people with impaired driving related criminal charges and one with a three-day licence and vehicle suspension.

RCMP were tipped off to one of the drivers (who provided a breath sample that read more than three times the legal blood alcohol limit) by a concerned resident.

“We rely heavily on the public’s help. We try to be smart about our patrols but it’s a combination to be successful out there,” says Const. Jaden Courtney with St. Albert RCMP traffic services.

The Checkstop on Saturday morning was the fourth in a series of Canada-wide traffic enforcement events that began in December 2013, part of the RCMP’s National Impaired Driving Strategy.

“We’re not just thinking about (impaired driving) at holiday time … we’re out there throughout the year,” says Courtney.

In nine months, RCMP across Canada have laid 363 impaired driving for alcohol and 12 charges of impaired driving for drugs at scheduled Checkstops.

Driving under the influence of prescription drugs or marijuana is as dangerous as driving drunk, says Supt. Howard Eaton with Alberta RCMP Traffic Services, in a news release.

“It doesn’t matter if a driver is drunk or stoned. If they kill someone on the roads that innocent person is still dead. It is as simple as that.”

Recent roadside surveys and research suggest that drug-impaired driving is becoming as prevalent as alcohol-impaired driving, say RCMP.

"Unfortunately, it seems that we need to remind people regularly that certain actions can have deadly consequences. Driving while impaired, either from alcohol or drugs, speeding, and driving while distracted all dramatically increase the likelihood of being in a collision,” adds St. Albert detachment commander Insp. Kevin Murray.

Approximately 800 people die each year in Canada due to alcohol-related crashes. The national homicide rate in Canada for 2012 was 543 people.

“We lose about 250 more Canadians on the roads each year due to impaired driving than we do to homicides,” says Eaton. “The average person doesn’t consider themselves capable of murder, but if you get behind the wheel of a vehicle when you are impaired, you risk becoming just that.”

Source: St Albert Gazette


Last updated on: 2014-09-12 | Link to this post