Drunk driving in Alberta has been the subject of intense discussion over the past few years. The province has had to step up their impaired driving laws and their checkstops to try to put a stop to the constant stream of alcohol-related crashes and arrests police are seeing. Although having checkstops as a means to catch someone who’d drives drunk are nothing new, Calgary police have begun to crack down with enhanced checkstops to curb the citywide drunk driving problem.
Enhanced checkstops are funded by the Alberta government, and although they are similar to checkstops you’ve probably driven through before, they are set up above and beyond those. During an enhanced checkstop held recently, Calgary police managed to seize sixty eight vehicles due to drivers driving in the warn range of .05 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or higher, and they charged eighteen people with impaired driving over .08. Twenty-four of those people received immediate roadside suspensions, and there were fifteen young people who received zero tolerance suspensions.
With enhanced checkstops Calgary police have twice the presence on the roads right now, and one of the reasons why they’ve picked now to patrol more may be due to a horrific crash that happened over the Easter weekend. It happened on Glenmore Trail, and Roger and Jayne Holmes were struck head on by a suspected drunk driver. Roger died at the scene while Jayne was still in critical condition as of Easter Monday.
Not far away from the city of Calgary, Strathcona police spent Easter weekend handing out 500 tickets on Good Friday and arrested two people early in the morning on Easter Monday. For Strathcona police, the Easter Monday arrests were surprising considering it was technically a bank holiday and a lot of businesses were open.
Those are just a few of the reasons why the enhanced checkstops Calgary police are doing are a good idea, and it might be an even better idea to extend them throughout the province and really crack down on drunk driving in Alberta. With the May long weekend right around the corner, lives depend on a strong police presence on the Alberta roads.