December 3rd is National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day, and Red Deer RCMP are kicking off the holiday season with a series of checkstops that begin on Dec. 3rd and continue through to the new year.
“Red Deer RCMP will be out in full force over the holiday season working to locate and arrest impaired drivers and keep the roads safe for everyone,” said Sgt. Al Nickolson of the Red Deer RCMP. “Our police officers have received awards for their leadership in putting record numbers of impaired drivers before the courts over the past few years – if you choose to drive impaired, your luck is going to run out.”
Red Deer RCMP have a strong focus on impaired driving throughout the year, but during the holiday season those efforts become even more focused through increased checkstops and active patrols using marked and unmarked police vehicles. As well as testing drivers for impairment by alcohol, Red Deer RCMP 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.
“It’s everyone’s responsibility to prevent impaired driving and the tragedies that accompany it,” said Nickolson. “There are many alternatives to driving impaired, including taxis, public transit or having a designated driver. If someone is impaired, don’t let them drive. It can be a difficult conversation to have, but, if you say nothing and someone gets hurt, living with yourself will be even harder. And if they choose to drive impaired and put the community at risk, report them to police.”
Year round, the RCMP’s work to keep Red Deer streets safe is helped by concerned citizens reporting suspected impaired drivers. This year, RCMP ask party hosts, friends and family members to take even more action by preventing those drivers from getting behind the wheel in the first place.
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 1 mg 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 50 mg and 80 mg 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, which could take months or longer and may result in jail time. As well, the vehicle you are driving will be seized for a minimum of three days.