Alberta RCMP reminding motorists of mandatory alcohol screening

Since the passing of Bill C-46 two and a half years, police have had the additional authority to detect and then remove impaired drivers by demanding motorists who were legally toped by police to provide them with a breath sample.

Alberta RCMP are reminding drivers that refusing to comply with the demand carries the same, or even greater, penalties as driving while impaired.

Although mandatory screening can only occur when a vehicle is lawfully stopped, police used the new tool in a limited fashion.

“Impaired driving continues to be a risk to the safety of all Albertans on our roadways,” said Superintendent Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services in a media release Friday. “When the COVID pandemic started we had to adjust our traffic enforcement practices for the safety of the public and our officers.  Mandatory Alcohol Screening was used in a limited manner during the pandemic. However, with the restrictions lifting and life returning to normal, we are shifting back to an enforcement focus.”

Graham said motorists should expect mandatory screening if stopped for a traffic offence or at a check stop.

“When MAS is used as widely as practical, it will help us accomplish our public safety goals, while fully protecting the public’s legal and constitutional rights,” Graham said.

RCMP says the test can be completed with little or no further delay than was expected for the initial traffic stop.

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