Because the holidays are a busy time for drinking drivers, Alberta RCMP set up check-stops across the entire province on Friday, December 5th. During that day they were out in full force to stop and check over 20,000 vehicles, and they handed out a significant number of impaired driving charges.
According to Global News Edmonton, the breakdown of tickets included:
- 70 drivers impaired by alcohol
- 71 drivers who received immediate roadside suspensions due to drinking and driving
- 1 motorist who was charged for driving under the influence of drugs
- 24 drivers who received roadside suspensions due to driving under the influence of drugs
A crackdown like this one is definitely needed in Alberta. Statistics Canada published data that showed the province’s impaired driving rate was 70% higher in 2013 than the national average. That breaks down to 450 impaired drivers per 100,000 people in Alberta, which is well over the rate of 262 impaired drivers per 100,000 people across Canada.
If a driver in Alberta receives an impaired driving charge, they’ll lose their driver’s license, may have their vehicle seized for 3 days, must attend a mandatory alcohol education program, and will be required to install a car breathalyzer for one year once they are criminally convicted. Alberta also has penalties for drivers in the warn range of .05 to .08, and those drivers will receive immediate license suspensions for 3 days and may have their vehicles impounded.
Crackdowns to arrest impaired drivers are part of a dedicated effort to stop drunk drivers before a tragedy happens. You can help by calling 911 if you see a drunk driver, and if you’d like to know more about the RCMP’s plans for impaired driving crackdowns and campaigns in your area, visit your local RCMP site.