by Morinville Online Staff
Last year was the first full year since Alberta Sheriffs were given expanded authority to investigate impaired driving and other criminal offences, and over that year, they removed 1471 impaired drivers from the province’s roads. Since being granted additional authority, Alberta Sheriffs have removed 2,224 impaired drivers, or an average of four per day.
Prior tot he province’s decision to expand authority, sheriffs would have had to turn a suspected impaired driver over to local police, typically the RCMP.
“Enhancing the authorities of the Sheriff Highway Patrol has been a successful step toward building safer communities for everyone in Alberta. With more than 30,000 km of provincial highways in their jurisdiction, the sheriffs have done tremendous work by removing more than 2,000 impaired drivers from our roads in less than two years,” said Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services Mike Ellis in a Jan. 10 media release. “Expanding the sheriffs’ authorities has alleviated pressure for policing in rural Alberta, giving those officers more time to respond to urgent calls and provide the flexibility to keep our communities safer.”
Sheriffs wrote 66,326 tickets in 2022, including one to a 39-year-old woman driving 189 km/h in a 110 km/h zone on Highway 16 in Parkland County near Stony Plain. Police say the woman was also impaired by alcohol.
Sheriffs also nabbed a 20-year-old man driving 228 km/h in a 110 km/h zone on Highway 16 in Parkland County west of Edmonton, a 25-year-old man riding his motorcycle at 203 km/h in a 100 km/h zone on Highway 21 outside of Sherwood Park, and a 33-year-old man driving 195 km/h in a 110 km/h zone on Highway 63 near Crow Lake.