We’ve all experienced what it’s like to be stopped at a roadside checkpoint. One minute you’re driving down a road or along the highway and the next you see lights flashing in the distance and cars slowed down. If you haven’t been drinking and driving, a roadblock is still enough to make you feel a surge of anxiety. If you have been driving under the influence, you’re suddenly going to have a lot to worry about.
Roadblocks were set up recently in Prince Edward Island (PEI) as part of the PEI’s National Impaired Driving Enforcement Campaign. They were looking for impaired drivers, and although they were set up all over the island, they only charged one person with impaired driving, one person with illegal possession of liquor, and one person for using a handheld device while driving. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not a lot of people drinking and driving, and that’s good news for residents of PEI.
The low number of impaired drivers may be due to an aggressive impaired driving campaign set up by the Province of Prince Edward Island. First time offenders in PEI will be required to install an ignition interlock device for one year as well as pay fines and spend 3 days in jail. There are large signs encouraging motorists to call 911 if they spot an impaired driver, and changes to the Highway Transportation Act may soon require repeat impaired drivers to use coded license plates so RCMP will automatically know they have a drunk driving conviction.
The number of impaired drivers is steadily dropping in the province, but there’s still a problem with chronic re-offenders. With all the effort being pushed into a province wide crackdown on impaired driving, that number may soon drop too.