Have you heard about National Road Safety Week? It kicked off on May 12th and continued until right after the May long weekend on May 18th. Put on by the Canada Safety Council, it was designed to remind drivers that the way you drive can save a life, and that includes impaired driving, distracted driving, and speeding.
Alberta’s RCMP were out during the final push for Road Safety Week on the May long weekend, and by all accounts they ran a successful campaign. The May long weekend is considered to be the official kick off to the Canadian summer season, and the main goal was to stop as many impaired drivers as possible.
Just during that one long weekend in Alberta the RCMP managed to stop and remove 56 drivers from the road who had been drinking and driving. That number is up from 35 drinking drivers in 2014 and 50 in 2013. They also stopped the driver of a golf cart who was driving impaired on a roadway, and he lost his driver’s license for 3 days and had his golf cart impounded for 3 days.
All of the other impaired drivers stopped that weekend will be subject to penalties under Alberta’s impaired driving laws. Because the laws changed in 2012, drivers stopped for suspicion of impaired driving will immediately lose their driver’s license until the criminal charge is resolved, they’ll have their vehicle seized for 3 days, and when convicted, they must use an ignition interlock device for an entire year.
If any of those drivers were on their second impaired driving conviction in Alberta, they’ll have had their vehicle seized for 7 days and they’ll have to install an ignition interlock device for 3 years.
Road Safety Week may be over, but with impaired driving rates on the upswing, you can guarantee Alberta RCMP will a big presence on the road this summer.