March 18-24 is National Impaired Driving Prevention Week, and RCMP are reminding motorists what it means to be impaired.
Police throughout Alberta are conducting roadside check stops to remind the public impaired driving, whether from drugs or alcohol, may cost your life or the lives of others.
“There is a myth that it is okay to use drugs and drive because it affects you differently,” said Supt. Gary Graham, officer in charge, Alberta Integrated Traffic Services. “It is important to remind everyone that impaired driving, whether by drugs or alcohol, is a serious offence that will lead to criminal charges.”
According to Superintendent of Alberta Sheriffs Traffic Operations Rick Gardner, impaired driving is leading cause of death and injury on Alberta roads.
Police are conducting check stops to keep the roads safe, Gardner says.
“We all have a part to play in keeping impaired drivers off our roads. It’s not about getting caught at a check stop, it’s about the possibility of hurting yourself and others on the way home,” Gardner said in a press release.
The week of March 18-24, the RCMP, in partnership with Alberta Traffic Sheriffs will maintain an increased presence on Alberta roads.
officers trained to conduct Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) and as Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) will be present to raise awareness and to take drivers, impaired by drugs or alcohol, off the road, according to a March 19 press release.
Drivers suspected of being impaired will be subject to road-side sobriety tests which may result in immediate licence suspensions and/or criminal charges.
· Alcohol has a “multiplicative” effect on other drugs. That means having a drink after taking cannabis products results in far greater impairments than taking either alone.
· Drug Recognition Experts can determine that you’re under the influence of a drug and you can be charged with drug-impaired driving.
· In 2016, the presence of alcohol or drugs was a factor in 27.9 per cent of fatal collisions that occurred in Alberta RCMP jurisdiction.
· In 2017, Alberta RCMP issued 4,290 impaired driving violations and 1,758 roadside suspensions.
· In the first two months of 2018, Alberta RCMP issued 538 impaired driving violations.