December is underway and so too is the holiday checkstop season.

Police in and around Edmonton are stepping up efforts over the next few weeks to catch impaired drivers.

The message has been delivered time and time again.

"Please, don't drink and drive," said Corporal Chris Little with Strathcona Integrated Traffic Services.

But, officers say some still aren't getting the message.

"With a lot of the drivers that we do arrest and deal with there is a sense of not really being worried about it, or there's a feeling that there's just not enough deterrents for these individuals and just a lack of caring," said Little.

Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death in Canada. Between 2005 and 2009 there was an average of 115 deaths in Alberta as a result of crashes involving drivers who had alcohol in their system.

"There's really no words to describe the sheer devastation of losing someone," said Leila Moulder, the current president of a local MADD chapter.

Moulder had a relative that was killed in a crash involving an impaired driver. Since then she has made it her mission to spread the word of the potentially dangerous consequences of getting behind the wheel while impaired.

"It's that mentality of it's just not going to happen to me, I'm indestructible, and thinking of my decision to get behind the wheel is affecting me and me only. But, in actuality, it's not. I mean, it affects so many more people, and it's selfish, and it's tragic, and it's not necessary, and it shouldn't be happening."

This will be the first time the annual holiday checkstop season will be conducted under Alberta's new drunk driving rules that allow for immediate license suspensions for both blowing over .05 and for impaired charges. Some say the new legislation is making a difference.

"I do see an increase in the amount of the people that are designating driving, or people that have gone with that one glass of wine, all beat it, with the lowered levels it's still somewhat risky, but at least they're being far more responsible than the people blowing twice and three times the legal limit," said Sergeant Kerry Bates with the Edmonton Police Service, Traffic Section.

Source – Global News Edmonton


Last updated on: 2012-12-03 | Link to this post