It’s a busy night for Halifax law enforcement if they net one or two impaired drivers, but when they stop 5 different impaired drivers in 5 separate incidents, that’s a very scary kick off on the first day of an annual safe driving campaign.
Operation Christmas 2015 began in Halifax on what should have been a quiet Thursday night. Operating in association with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the campaign aims to reduce impaired driving, encourage motorists to practice safe winter driving, and promote overall road safety.
Maybe the message they are sending will take a while to catch on, but within the first few hours of launch police responded to three single vehicle car crashes. All three drivers were impaired, and thankfully no one was injured in two of the crashes. The third crash involved non-life threatening injuries for the driver.
On top of those crashes, police responded to a call from someone who reported an impaired driver in the area and another traffic stop where the driver was found to be intoxicated.
It’s fortunate no one was seriously injured or killed by these drunk drivers, and if recent crashes are any indication, alcohol-related crashes in Halifax don’t always have a happy ending. There were 2 Halifax crashes resulting in 3 deaths in a single week recently, and both were due to alcohol.
It’s surprising so many people continue to make the choice to drink and drive in the city, especially since the penalties for doing so are severe. Nova Scotia impaired driving laws include a one year driving ban for first offenders, a minimum of $600 fine, the possibility of re-taking drivers license tests, and a possible one year enrollment in the Nova Scotia ignition interlock program.
If you’re heading out to a holiday party or night out in Halifax, remember that Operation Christmas 2015 is underway and they’re focused on nabbing you if you choose to drive impaired. The best way to enjoy the holiday season is from the back seat of car being driven by your designated driver, not in the back of a squad car or ambulance.