Police and safety advocates are asking residents to think twice before drinking and getting behind the wheel after the stroke of midnight on New Year’s.

“We know there’s a lot of alcohol, a lot of drinking so we just want to make sure that everyone’s aware that we will be here and will be setting up checkpoints,” said Cst. Kelli Hennessy with Lower Sackville RCMP.

Police set up at checkpoint in Sackville Monday night, and more than 200 cars passed through the checkpoint in an hour. Fortunately there were no impaired drivers.

“We’ve pulled over a few vehicles to the side of the road. We’ve administered two roadside breathalyzers. Both of those were negative so both drivers were l et go,” Hennessy said.

But Hennessy said impaired driving is an issue that RCMP deal with. She stresses that the answer is simple, especially since impaired driving is 100 per cent preventable.

“Don’t drink and drive. It’s just not worth it. We just want to make sure everyone’s safe.”

 Impaired driving hits close to home for one Windsor woman

Drinking and driving can kill, and that is something Susan MacAskill knows all too well.

Her father and stepmother were driving home on Highway 104 in 1993 when they suddenly encountered a drunk driver.

 “They were talking about stopping at a farm market in that area and an impaired driver came over the hill on their side of the road and hit them head on,” she said.

Her father was taken to hospital but never regained consciousness. MacAskill and her siblings took him off life support 10 days later. Her stepmother was injured but recovered.

But her pain was made worse after finding out the driver of the other vehicle had been drinking.

“It made me angry. Why do people make choices to place themselves at risk and other people at risk?”

“My dad was such an important person to us, to our family, and it was just wrong that he should lose his life that way.”

MacAskill is now the chapter services manager for MADD Atlantic. She wants everyone to act safely on New Years.

“If you’re going to be driving a vehicle, [you] need to make responsible choices and that means not consuming alcohol, not to be doing drugs,” she said.

“We don’t want any empty places at the dinner table in the new year.”

RCMP said drinking and driving could lead to charges, your license being suspended, your vehicle being impounded and you could be slapped with other fines.

MADD said about four people are killed every day in Canada by an impaired driver.

There are lots of different ways to get home after your New Year’s celebration:

- take a taxi

- have a designated driver

- sleep over somewhere so you don’t have to drive

Halifax Transit is free after 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and lines will run until approximately 1 a.m. on New     Year’s Day

- don’t drink at all

Source: Global News


Last updated on: 2015-01-09 | Link to this post