Police officers across Canada have the right to demand a breath sample from any driver – not just those they suspect under the influence – beginning today.
The Trail Times asked Sgt. Mike Wicentowich how this stricter drunk driving legislation can help local enforcement keep impaired drivers off the road.
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“The changes allow police to better screen motorists for driving while under the influence of alcohol,” the RCMP sergeant began.
“The police face serious and complex investigation, administrative, and legal challenges whenever they conduct impaired driving investigations,” he added.
“The changes to current law allows the police to screen motorists who sometime use tactics to make it intentionally more difficult for the police to demand breath samples from them.”
The new law is also timely as Greater Trail police are ramping up roadside checks with Christmas Counter Attack.
“With a greater capacity to screen motorists, the Trail and Greater District RCMP Detachment hope to make the roadways safer for everyone this December and into the future by detecting impaired driving when required,” Wicentowich said.
“This will likely mean roadside checks will be additionally effective.”
Over the weekend, patrols around Greater Trail pulled three impaired drivers off the road.
One person was issued 90 Day Immediate Roadside Prohibition for being impaired by alcohol and her vehicle was impounded for 30 days.
Two people were issued three-day Immediate Roadside Prohibitions for being impaired by alcohol and their vehicles were impounded for three days.
Officers checked 153 vehicles from Friday to Sunday. Aside from giving out a few verbal warnings about required minor vehicle fixes, Wicentowich says no tickets were issued under the Motor Vehicle Act.
Police urge all drivers to be vigilant this holiday season and report anyone suspected of drinking and driving to the Trail and Greater District RCMP Detachment at (250) 364-2566.