Hundreds of motorists were pulled over last night (Dec. 2) in both a traditional stationary and roaming checkstops by RCMP traffic enforcement officers.

Sgt. Darrin Turnbull, of Alberta RCMP Traffic, says it was held in support of National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day to remove impaired drivers from roadways.

"It's the start of the holiday season, company Christmas parties and family gatherings, so we're out here spreading the word about impaired driving, making sure that people driving here are sober," says Sgt. Turnbull.

About 1 1/2 hours into the checkstop, Sgt. V. C. Hetu, head of the Cochrane/Bow Valley traffic unit, says they'd already checked more than 100 motorists and at that point, there had been no infractions.

Afterward, roaming checks were held involving even more members of the detachment.

"We're roaming around, and we're literally pulling over as many vehicles as we possibly can at various locations to have a larger impact." 

A summary of the infractions from the provincewide initiative is expected to be released by Tuesday, including the ones from the Cochrane area.

Each motorist was given a mandatory alcohol screening to deter and detect impaired drivers. If you are pulled over or at a check stop, you can expect to provide a breath sample.

Sgt. Turnbull says being sober behind the wheel is a 24/7 responsibility of motorists.

“Last year, in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions, we responded to 233 fatal collisions, of which approximately 25 per cent involved alcohol or drugs," says Turnbull. "Alberta RCMP also removed 7,573 impaired drivers from Alberta roadways, that’s the equivalent of more than 20 impaired drivers per day.”

According to MADD, an average of four Canadians are killed every day and 175 are injured in impairment-related crashes.

RCMP remind motorists of the following:

  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is never okay. Impaired driving is both criminal and dangerous.
  • Individuals with a graduated driver’s licence must abide by the zero-tolerance law.
  • Impaired driving is always preventable and can always be avoided. If you have consumed drugs or alcohol, call a taxi or rideshare service, use a designated driver, or stay the night.
  • Party hosts aren’t off the hook. If your guest/s have been drinking or using drugs, make sure they have a safe place to stay or a sober ride home.
  • Call 911 immediately if you witness or suspect impaired driving.

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