CALGARY – Alberta RCMP will be out in full force on Friday battling impaired driving with a province-wide checkstop blitz.
The crackdown is part of a national campaign against impaired driving called National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day.
“The goal of the operation is to take impaired drivers off the roads and to send a strong message to all Albertans about the need to work together in preventing a crime that remains one of the leading causes of criminal death in Canada,” said a Friday news release from RCMP.
A total of 112 local RCMP detachments throughout the province will be participating.
“Throughout the upcoming festive season, Integrated Traffic Units consisting of Sheriffs and RCMP officers throughout the province will have an increased presence on our highways,” said Rick Gardner, deputy director, Alberta Sheriffs Traffic Operations. “We will be stopping vehicles, screening drivers and apprehending those who are impaired.”
“It’s not just about the impaired driver. It’s about friends and family stepping up to make sure the people in their lives are sober when they get behind the wheel,” added RCMP Superintendent Ian Lawson. “Insisting a friend crash on your couch is better than having them crash on the road – especially if you know they shouldn’t be driving.”
On Friday, Alberta’s Minister of Transportation released a statement encouraging drivers to make arrangements for a safe ride home.
“This holiday season, if you are going out for an evening which may include having a few drinks, have a plan; arrange to have a sober friend drive you home, call a taxi or take public transit,” said Brian Mason.
RCMP conducted the first Canada-wide National Impaired Driving Awareness and Enforcement Day in December 2013, and has repeated the national operation five times, stopping and checking more than 345,000 vehicles resulting in over 2,500 enforcement actions taken against impaired drivers.
Albertans who suspect a motorist is impaired are asked to report them by calling 911.
WATCH: It’s another reminder: don’t drink and drive. Alberta RCMP will be out in full force tonight battling impaired driving. Lisa Wolansky speaks to a family impacted personally.