As the holiday season approaches and the party invitations begin to roll in, Red Deer RCMP would like to remind drivers of the importance of planning safe rides home from the festivities.
“Impaired driving, and the tragedies that accompany it, are completely preventable,” said Cpl. Matt LaBelle of Red Deer RCMP. “There are many alternatives to impaired driving including taxis, public transit and having a designated driver. Drivers who choose to drive impaired face not only the possibility of killing themselves, their friends or someone else – they also face very serious legal, financial and social consequences.”
As well as testing drivers for impairment by alcohol, RCMP also use certified Drug Recognition Experts who are trained to identify and charge drivers impaired by street drugs, prescription drugs or a combination of intoxicating substances. “Driving while impaired by drugs and refusing to comply with a demand for physical sobriety tests or to provide bodily fluid samples is a criminal offence,” said LaBelle. “The legal consequences are the same as for drivers who are impaired by alcohol.”
RCMP conduct random check stops throughout the year, but during the holiday season those efforts become even more focused. As well as setting up check stops, RCMP patrol for impaired driving and other violations on every shift, using marked and unmarked police vehicles.
“The police receive dozens of calls each week from Red Deerians reporting suspected impaired drivers,” said LaBelle. “If you drive impaired, you’re going to get caught – people in Red Deer are making the clear statement that they will no longer tolerate this dangerous behaviour in our community.”
Provincial penalties for driving after you have consumed alcohol or drugs:
· If you have a Graduated Drivers Licence (GDL), you are not to consume any alcohol before driving; if a roadside test shows 1mg or more of alcohol in your body, you will immediately lose your licence for one month, face a $230 ticket and have the vehicle you are driving seized for a minimum of seven days, regardless of whether you, your parents or someone else is the registered owner.
· If a roadside test is completed while you’re behind the wheel and your reading is between 50mg and 80mg of alcohol in your body, you will immediately lose your licence for a minimum of 72 hrs and have the vehicle you are driving seized for a minimum of three days.
· If you are charged with impaired driving or driving while over .08, you will immediately lose your license until the court proceeding are completed. Keep in mind, the conclusion of court proceedings can take several months. As well, the vehicle you are driving will be seized for a minimum of three days.