A ‘MASsive’ reform will help RCMP reduce and remove impaired drivers

Mandatory Alcohol Screening (MAS) coming into effect Dec. 18, 2018

On December 10 Alberta RCMP Traffic Services discussed the impact of the upcoming legislation of part two of Bill C-46 on police delivery, which will put Mandatory Alcohol Screening (MAS) into force on Dec. 18, 2018.

On Dec. 1, the RCMP participated in National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day, a Canada-wide initiative that brings together RCMP officers and Alberta Sheriffs on patrol to remove impaired drivers from the road. A total of 11, 895 vehicles were checked. On this day alone, Alberta RCMP laid 23 charges for impaired operation by alcohol and two charges for impaired operation by drug. We can’t allow these numbers to continue to grow, or exist.

Next week, the alcohol-impaired driving reforms will give police additional authority to detect and remove all instances of impaired driving.

“Alberta police services are working together to implement the changes brought about by Bill C-46, including Mandatory Alcohol Screening (MAS),” said Chief Mark Neufeld, President of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police.

“A large and credible international evidence base suggests MAS is one of the most effective road safety measures available and that it has resulted in significant and sustained reductions in impaired driving and related deaths and injuries.”

The RCMP is committed to using MAS in an equitable and non-discriminatory fashion for consideration in every interaction with drivers. The RCMP is confident that the test can be completed within the regular compliance check that normally takes a few minutes.

“These are short interactions that we need to have because Canadians require and deserve protection from all impaired drivers on the roads,” said Superintendent Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services.

“When MAS is used as widely as operationally practical, it will help us accomplish our public safety goals, while fully protecting the public’s legal and constitutional rights.”

The new law represents a significant shift in modernizing and simplifying approaches to enforcing impaired driving as a transportation offence.

Alberta RCMP reminds the public that impaired driving, of any kind, is completely avoidable and illegal. When motorists follow safe driving practices, such as planning ahead and appointing a designated driver, the risks of death and injury, to themselves and others are reduced.

For more information, follow our #TrafficSafety tips on impaired driving on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.

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