Edmonton, AB – The numbers are now in on the RCMP’s latest Alberta – wide checkstop blitz and the results indicate that there are still drivers getting behind the wheel when they are in no shape to drive. On Friday, December 4th, the RCMP conducted checkstop operations in 259different locations within local RCMP jurisdictions and on Alberta highways. At some locations, Alberta Traffic Sheriffs worked alongside the RCMP. Officers stopped and checked more than 20,500 vehicles as part of a Canada-wide RCMP enforcement campaign aimed at taking impaired drivers off the roads and raising public awareness of this highly preventable crime.
The large-scale Alberta RCMP checkstop blitz resulted in the following:
- 46 motorists charged with Impaired by Alcohol (down from 70 on Dec. 5, 2014 )
- 73 roadside suspensions due to alcohol (up from 71 on Dec. 5, 2014 )
- 34 roadside suspensions due to drugs (up from 24 on Dec. 5, 2014)
This year’s Alberta-wide checkstop blitz resulted in fewer impaired driving charges compared to last year’s operation on December 5, 2014, which involved police stopping approximately the same number of vehicles. This year’s operation saw the number of roadside suspensions due to alcohol rise slightly. There was also a significant increase in suspensions issued to drivers who exhibited behaviours associated with drug use.
“We are seeing more drivers behind the wheel who are impaired by drugs,” said Superintendent Ian Lawson, Officer-in-Charge Alberta RCMP Traffic Services.
”Albertans of all ages need to understand that driving after using drugs, even prescription drugs, can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving.”
Traffic safety research suggests that drug- impaired driving is becoming as prevalent as alcohol-impaired driving, and that drug-involved crashes are more likely than alcohol-involved crashes to occur during the daytime hours on weekdays. The RCMP is seeing this trend on Alberta’s roadways.
The RCMP will be conducting checkstops throughout the holiday season. If the police determine a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle has been impaired by alcohol or drugs, even if their blood alcohol concentration is below .08, they can be charged criminally with impaired driving.