The RCMP officer was patrolling a Saskatchewan highway when a van sped by at 85 km/h in a 60 km/h zone.

The cruiser’s emergency lights were flicked on and the officer tried to complete a traffic stop. The van didn’t stop and turned toward a hospital. It might be an emergency vehicle, the officer thought.

When the van eventually stopped, the driver exited the vehicle and staggered into the middle of the road. The RCMP officer yelled to get back in the vehicle and the driver complied.

The Mountie walked up to the van and asked for the driver’s licence and registration, to which the driver answered, “OK I admit it, I am impaired.” 

The driver was charged with impaired driving and ended up being convicted for a ninth time for drunk driving. At the time, the driver also didn’t have a licence.

It was that particular officer’s first experience with a drunk driver and it stuck with them. Now the RCMP in Saskatchewan wants to give residents a glimpse into the situations they face with impaired drivers.

On Saturday starting at 11 a.m. this story along with 23 others will be shared, one every hour for 24 hours, over the Saskatchewan RCMP social media pages.

“They are stories that people will be interested in reading, and we hope that they’re going to take away the strong message that impaired driving isn’t what people should be doing when they’re out there,” said Sgt. Al Hofland, acting officer in charge of traffic services in Saskatchewan.

The 24 stories were submitted by RCMP officers from across Saskatchewan. The stories vary in length and detail. None are too graphic, and any identifying words such as names and places have been edited out.

“(Impaired driving crashes) hit you emotionally and everything else that has to go with it, dealing with the scene, dealing with the families and then the personal reflection after that on what it is that we just dealt with,” Hofland said.

This project is part of National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day. RCMP officers across Saskatchewan will be conducting traffic enforcement throughout the day and into the night, targeting impaired and distracted driving, aggressive driving and seatbelt use, among others.

Last year in December the RCMP charged 210 people with impaired driving offences — almost seven per day. Between the hours of 3 p.m. and 3 a.m. last December the RCMP averaged more than one driving complaint call per hour — usually over a suspected impaired driver. 

“We know that it’s a very busy month for us, the month of December … there’s an increase in motor vehicle traffic on our highways, in our streets and we just want to make sure that through our enforcement action and obviously media events such as this is to get that message out there,” Hofland said.

Police statistics in Regina and Saskatoon do not show impaired driving offences to rise much compared to other months.

In Regina in December last year, there were 65 impaired driving offences compared to 75 in November. In Saskatoon, charges for impaired operation of a motor vehicle in December were 32, compared to 39 in November.

Source: Leader Post

Last updated on: 2016-12-27 | Link to this post