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Residents help catch five impaired drivers

By: Amy Crofts

  |  Posted: Saturday, Feb 15, 2014 06:00 am

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What to do when you suspect an impaired driver:

1. Get the licence plate number
2. Get the vehicle description
3. If you are driving, pull over
4. Call 911 if it's happening in real time
4. Otherwise call the RCMP complaint line 780-458-7700

St. Albert RCMP are pleased that their phone lines are ringing. Last weekend, those calls helped nab five impaired drivers.

Between Friday, Feb. 7 and Monday, Feb. 10, police charged three people with impaired driving, one person with care and control of a motor vehicle while impaired and gave out one 24-hour driving suspension.

Two of the calls that came in failed to show that the driver was impaired.

This is what we like to see, said Cpl. Laurel Kading.

“People are becoming more engaged in the process in helping keep our city safe. The extra eyes out there are fantastic for us.”

There are certain signs that tip off an impaired driver, she explained. If an intoxicated person is walking to their vehicle, they might be stumbling, have poor balance and coordination.

Behind the wheel, look for an erratic driving pattern – not stopping at intersections, slow to start at intersections or weaving in their lane.

But sometimes the indications are less clear. It can be hard to tell a distracted driver apart from an impaired driver, or from someone who is really tired.

“All of those are things that cause our driving to become dangerous,” said Kading.

“If it happens once then they are probably distracted. But if it continues … and they are not correcting themselves, it would be an indication that whatever the cause, someone should check on that driver to make sure that they’re safe on the roads.”

If you are driving and suspect an impaired driver – or someone driving dangerously – pull over to the side of the road and call 911.

Residents are not encouraged to follow vehicles driving dangerously.

“We don’t want someone to get into a collision or get into trouble because they are keeping an eye on that person,” added Kading. “Call us.”

Even if the driver is not impaired, a visit from the police could also give them a wake up call.

“It really brings the message home for people that are thinking about drinking and driving,” said Kading. “That it’s too risky and it’s not just watching out for a cop car.”


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