City cops are reminding motorists not to drink and drive after an "alarming" number of impaired drivers were nabbed during checkstop operations this holiday.

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) said Wednesday that 38 people had their driving privileges suspended during a three-day holiday checkstop campaign last weekend and a total of 25 drivers had their licences revoked after being found behind the wheel while impaired.

Sgt. Conrad Moschansky of the EPS Impaired Driving Unit said the numbers were disconcerting considering the typical Holiday Checkstop Program usually sees police take around fifteen impaired drivers off the road.

"Seeing 38 was alarming to us and we wanted to remind everyone that we are still out there. We're still doing checkstops and we're not going to stop. Our Christmas campaign is going to continue right through New Year's Eve," said Moschansky.

Moschansky also thanked members of the public who helped keep impaired drivers off city streets as part of the Curb the Danger program, which encourages citizens to contact police if they spot someone driving erratically. A total of 111 tips came in to police resulting in another 13 impaired charges being laid.

"They're our eyes and ears out there and they're doing a great job," he said, adding that any call about an impaired driver to Curb the Danger is treated as a priority dispatch with "lights and sirens blaring."

So far this holiday, police have seen a 22 per cent jump in roadside suspensions over the 2013 holiday campaign with 83 suspensions issued and a 4.5 per cent increase in impaired arrests with 69 motorists cuffed.

While there has been a 25 per cent increase in roadside suspensions year-to-date over 2013, with 240 suspensions issued so far in 2014, the number of impaired arrests is down 12.6 per cent from 2013 with 160 impaired arrests so far this year.

The EPS Traffic Section officially launched its Holiday Checkstop initiative on Dec. 4. The program enhances other EPS impaired driving efforts such as Target All Drunk Drivers, a police mobile enforcement near entertainment areas, and Curb the Danger, where citizens can report impaired drivers by calling 911.

Source: Edmonton Sun


Last updated on: 2015-01-07 | Link to this post