Checkstops net three suspensions
New Year's celebrations bring first alcohol-related collision
By: By Megan Sarrazin
| Posted: Saturday, Jan 05, 2013 06:00 am
Police only issued three licence suspensions during its new year’s checkstop this week, which screened nearly 1,000 drivers for intoxication.
“(It was) very quiet for impaired drivers over the Christmas season,” said Cpl. Don Murray of St. Albert RCMP traffic services in a voicemail message. “We’re pleasantly surprised with that and happy to find out the vast majority of people were acting responsibly.”
In addition to laying criminal charges for drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration exceeding the legal limit of 0.08, officers imposed immediate roadside sanctions for drivers with a concentration between 0.05 and 0.08.
Provincial legislation took effect Sept. 1 allowing officers to slap drivers in this range with immediate three-day licence suspensions coupled with three-day vehicle seizures.
Officers were out in full force New Year’s Eve conducting checkstops aimed at getting impaired drivers off St. Albert roadways. The traffic stops resulted in two suspensions under the new legislation, as well as a single 24-hour suspension. Police didn’t lay any charges for impaired driving.
St. Albert RCMP held a number of checkstops throughout the campaign’s roughly five-week duration, which kicked off the first weekend of December and wrapped up this week.
Detachment representatives did not respond by press time with the total number of charges and suspensions issued during the holiday season.
In 2011, St. Albert RCMP nabbed one impaired driver late in December and handed out seven 24-hour suspensions. Three impaired drivers were charged in the holiday season of 2010.
The first alcohol-related collision came around noon Jan. 1 in St. Albert’s downtown core, Murray said.
“We do believe alcohol was a factor in that and the police investigation is ongoing,” he said.
The driver was taken to the University of Alberta hospital with non life-threatening injuries and charges are pending. No further details were available by press time.