By now there aren’t many people who haven’t heard of the Elf on the Shelf. A mischievous little elf who moves around every night and watches over you for Santa, he’s gained popularity all over Canada for both parents and kids alike. This year, he’s helping out Newfoundland RCMP to show the outcome of impaired driving, and the resulting photos are an eye-opener.
The creative new strategy is the brainchild of Newfoundland RCMP officer Constable Tony Seward who took a photo of his Elf on the Shelf catching speeders while sitting on a radar gun last year, and it was so well received he decided to take it one step further. The resulting anti-drunk driving public service announcement shows his Elf getting drunk on Scotch whiskey and then whisking Barbie off for a quick ride in her pink convertible. The result? A drinking and driving charge.
If the Elf is convicted of drinking and driving in Newfoundland, he’ll lose his driver’s license for one full year, be required to pay a minimum of $600 in fines, and may be required to install an ignition interlock device.
It might be a quirky approach to fighting impaired driving, but it’s all a part of Newfoundland RCMP’s desire to reduce alcohol-related deaths in the province, and by all accounts it’s working. According to Statistics Canada, St.John’s, Newfoundland had the highest rate of arrests in Canada in 2011, and in addition to sharing Elf on the Shelf pictures on Facebook, the detachment has encouraged the public to work with them to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads by asking them to call in suspected drunk drivers.
Sometimes it takes something out of the ordinary to get the attention of the average person, and the Elf on the Shelf pictures definitely do that. For a look at the entire group of Elf on the Shelf photos, take a look at the RCMP’s Facebook page.