Weekend nights during the holidays are the busiest times of the year for RCMP in Canada, and this holiday season is no exception, especially in Saskatchewan. The province has one of the worst impaired driving records in the entire country, and that’s why RCMP officers have put Operation Overdrive in place.
The idea behind Operation Overdrive is simple – 25 times a year, 5 hours at a time, 9 officers in unmarked cars will patrol the city. They’ll stop in at hot spots like nightclubs, bars, and pubs, and they’ll act on any tips they receive from the Report Impaired Drivers program.
Why an elaborate program like Operation Overdrive when road-checks have been known to be effective for stopping drunk drivers? Police feel as though fewer vehicles can be stopped with roadblocks now that social media is available to alert others to where they are, and a program like Operation Overdrive will hit impaired drivers at hot spots before they can get into crashes that cause injury or death.
If the stats are any indication, Saskatchewan needs a lot of help when it comes to cracking down on impaired driving. The province has one of the worst impaired driving records in Canada, with more than double the amount of incidents than Canada’s national rate.
To stop impaired drivers, the province has toughened up their impaired driving laws over the past year. As of June 2014, all impaired drivers in the province will receive a mandatory ignition interlock sentence and will have their vehicle impounded when stopped. They’ll also have to pay fines that increase depending on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Operation Overdrive can strike any time and any place, and social media won’t be able to alert potential impaired drivers to where the RCMP will be next. Your best option for avoiding an impaired driving charge in Saskatchewan is to not drink before you get behind the wheel.