RCMP warn impaired driving a serious problem on long weekends

Have fun, be cautious, stay safe advise Alberta police

  • Aug. 3, 2017 7:45 a.m.

The August long weekend is almost here and many of you will be on the road traveling to holiday destinations or visiting friends and family. Traffic volume on Alberta highways is expected to be high, so take extra care to drive defensively, share the road, and obey the posted speed limits. Drinking and driving is always a major concern on holiday long weekends. If your plans include partaking in alcoholic beverages, ensure you plan for means of safe transportation throughout the weekend and always take steps to prevent impaired driving.

“Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death in Canada and prevention is the key. Ensure you make plans for a safe, sober ride home before you begin consuming alcohol.” says Steve Daley, Acting Officer in Charge, Alberta Traffic Services. “If you’re going to be drinking, make plans to have a safe ride home and encourage others to plan ahead as well. You might save a life.”

Over the August long weekend last year, 108 people were charged with impaired operation in RCMP jurisdictions, including two boat operators. That same year, the presence of drugs or alcohol was a factor in 27.9 per cent of all fatal collisions. Police remind everyone that impairment by drugs and alcohol results in a shorter attention span, an altered perception of time and distance, and slower reaction times.

“Whether you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, riding an ATV or even operating a boat this holiday weekend, remember that drinking and ‘driving’ is a no go,” says Superintendent Rick Gardner, Alberta Sheriffs.

Safety tips to prevent impaired driving

Always plan ahead: consider public transit, taxis, or finding a designated driver.

Volunteer to be a designated driver. It’s a great way to help keep you and your friends or family safe! (Alberta Transportation)

If you are a designated driver, bring your own non-alcoholic drinks. (Alberta Transportation)

Consider the size of your group and determine how many designated drivers are needed to transport everyone safely home. (Alberta Transportation)

If safe transportation is unavailable, crash on a couch! It’s better than crashing in traffic.

Have discussions about impaired driving with youth and children in your life. There can never be too many reminders to avoid driving under the influence or with a driver who is impaired.

Talk to your pharmacist about how your medication could affect your driving ability.

Be aware of how prescribed medication interacts with alcohol so that you can prevent unknowing impairment.

Spread awareness that driving under the influence of drugs is just as dangerous as alcohol.

Have the difficult conversations that come up when you see someone planning to drive under the influence – talk them out of it or try to take their keys.

If the impaired person does not listen, make sure their passengers do.

If you see or suspect an impaired driver, call 911.

By practicing these few simple tips, we can help ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday long weekend.

Alberta RCMP Traffic Services work with Alberta Traffic Sheriffs in Integrated Traffic Units (ITUs) to deliver effective and efficient traffic safety services to Albertans, with a focus on identified enforcement priorities.

Just Posted

County of Wetaskiwin council moves ahead on efficiency audit

Intense debate Apr. 9 over how county’s efficiency should be reviewed

Alberta’s 47 legislature newbies meet under the dome for orientation day

Most new members are with the United Conservatives, who won a majority government

Albertans have spoken, and spoken clearly

UCP takes 63 electoral districts, NDP mostly an Edmonton party

AFSC crop insurance rates lower for some producers in 2019

Cow-calf producers can take advantage of premiums lower than at this time last year

New Sarepta students host political forum Apr. 10

Political Forum hosted by NSCHS Students

VIDEO: Police dog in Oregon struck by 200 porcupine quills during pursuit

The German shepherd had to be sedated and was in treatment for more than two hours

Canadian privacy watchdogs find major shortcomings in Facebook probe

The probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal info

Provinces, Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Oil and gas company confirms death of one of its employees in Yoho avalanche

Dana Coffield died when he was skiing in the Rocky Mountains

Cenovus CEO estimates production curtailments will deliver billions to taxpayers

The curtailment program started Jan. 1 was designed to keep 325,000 barrels per day off the market

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Calgary’s public school board responds to Syrian child’s suicide after bullying

Amal Alshteiwi, a newcomer to Canada from Syria, took her own life several weeks ago

Most Read