RCMP sees six impaired charges in two weekends

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – RCMP laid another two impaired driving charges over the Oct. 21 weekend, bringing the two weekend total to six. Police issued four impaired charges over the Oct. 14 weekend. These figures do not include additional 24-hour suspensions.

Morinville RCMP Staff Sergeant Mac Richards said approximately 60 impaired charges have been laid to date this year, and that the two week tally is outside the norm.

“The four is high – the two isn’t out of the norm, but it’s more than we want to see for sure,” Richards said. “We’re averaging about seven a month.”

Despite plenty of education about the dangers and consequences of impaired driving, Richards said he is not certain if the message will ever truly get through to some people. “We were lucky that none of these resulted in any fatalities or collisions,” he said of the six impaired charges. “It’s just good police work, but also people phoning in. It’s a common occurrence that people phone in about what they perceive to be impaired drivers.”

Staff Sergeant Richards said people should never be concerned about whether or not to phone police if they suspect someone of driving impaired. The detachment wants to receive those calls. “If it turns out that they’re not [impaired] – they’re tired or poor drivers or there is something wrong with their car, essentially that’s the end of it,” he said. “If it turns out to be nothing, so be it. If it is to the point where you are concerned about their driving [and] whether they are impaired or not, it’s worthy of a phone call.”

Richards said if the driving behaviour is sufficient to grab a citizen’s attention; it is something the RCMP wants to know about. The detachment has been successful in taking many impaired drivers off the road thanks to calls from citizens. “It does work,” he said, adding those who drink and drive need to be aware there are more eyes on what they are doing than merely those of the police. “It’s not just the police you have to be concerned about. Everybody’s concerned about it, and people are taking the initiative to call. Part of being a community is looking out for one another.”

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  1. It is quite the double edged sword, when the people feel the need to rise up and start reporting what see on the road to the police. The RCMP, Peace Officers and Sherriff’s actions are commendable in their endeavours to keeping our families safe. We don’t have to look far in the recent media to see the results of alcohol induced poor judgement. My condolences go out to the families of those poor young girls from Grande Prairie.

    First we turn to our religious beliefs in the moment of sorrow at the loss of yet another human life due to a drunk driver, then that sorrow gives way to disbelief and questions to the Police as to why did this happen, and then finally to anger to our law makers and civic leaders as to how will we stop this from happening again……. Meanwhile the courts recognize that by taking away a persons license to drive they will severely impact his ability to stay employed, thus to avoid the negative effects on his family they reduce sentencing and make deals.

    I know, it’s every driver’s responsibility to police themselves before they get behind the wheel, but, it’s clearly not happening as often as it should. And this is the part of the double edge sword, we look to our leaders for solutions, but really, they themselves operate an alcohol serving business (MCCC) for profit which potentially results in people driving home drunk after concerts.

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