August is Impaired Driving Awareness Month and police, paramedics and drivers alike are hoping that some awareness will result in additional caution.
Through the month of August Sgt. Bob Bell with the Red Deer RCMP said checkstops were run and were remarkably successful with getting impaired drivers off the road.
“We have had to shut our checkstops down at three in the morning sometimes because all the cars have impaired drivers and we can’t take any more,” said Bell.
Bell said they have locations throughout the City that they frequent in order to catch the most impaired drivers.
“Typically they are locations between the bars and residential areas.”
Bell also said they do see a lot of designated drivers taking home carloads of people or parents who have been called to pick up their kids and friends.
“It’s incredible the number of cabs that come through loaded up during the night taking people home.”
Bell also emphasized the fact that there is a zero alcohol tolerance for anyone who still has a Graduated Driver’s License.
“With any amount of alcohol on the GDL that registers on the device than you’re done. They lose their license and have to start all over again.”
The public has also played an important role in keeping impaired drivers off the roads by phoning in about erratic drivers, said Bell.
“It’s amazing how many impaired drivers are arrested as a result of phone calls. Last week at two in the afternoon an impaired driver was picked up because someone phoned in.
“Obviously the message is getting out there but there are still a few people who will always think they need their car in the morning or that they are good to drive.”
Bell said the checkstops will continue and that they have a couple slated for September and October. The new distracted driving legislation comes into effect Sept. 1st and will also see a big push for enforcement.
“It’s all about enforcement. Without that a law is just a piece of paper. So it’s the police service’s job to enforce it.”
Bell said the new distracted driving legislation will target people who are not paying attention to the road, multi tasking or otherwise preoccupied by cell phones.
“So many people are getting injured and now school will be back. People should just be slowing down and paying attention.”