By MorinvilleNews.com Staff
Sturgeon County – The month of August has been targeted by law enforcement across the province as the month to get more impaired drivers off the road.
Constable Yelena Avoine with the Morinville Detachment said local RCMP will be working together with the province’s sheriffs to conduct some check stops in the area during the month of August in an effort to take impaired drivers off the road, a need that is certainly not on the decline.
“From what I’ve seen in the last year, it’s pretty much the same, unfortunately,” Avoine said of the number of impaired drivers on local roads. “The numbers are not going down and we would like the numbers to go down.”
But check stops can only do so much to curb impaired drivers. The Morinville RCMP is always on the lookout for the public’s help.
“When someone notices a vehicle swerving or putting on the brakes for no apparent reason, contact us right away because there might be someone patrolling in the area and they can catch up to the person really quick,” Avoine said. “We actually get those phone calls every day and sometimes it’s not necessarily someone that is impaired, but sometimes it is. So it’s really good to have the help of the public in regards to that.”
Avoine said RCMP will also be looking for drivers impaired by means other than alcohol. Police now have the legislated ability to test for drug use if they suspect a driver is impaired by prescription or non-prescription drugs and to penalize the person if they fail to cooperate. Avoine explained that an officer suspecting someone is impaired by narcotics can call on someone qualified to better assess the situation. Those refusing to provide a drug test are now liable to the same penalties as those refusing a breath sample.
RCMP report that impaired driving is the leading cause of criminal death in Canada with almost one third of all drivers involved in fatal collisions being criminally impaired at the time of death.