Police across Saskatchewan will be out in force running check stops to curb and catch impaired drivers this May long weekend.
“We want everyone to be able to enjoy their long weekend in the company of their loved ones,” said Earl Cameron, executive vice-president of the Auto Fund for Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI).
“As you head out this weekend, make sure to buckle up and put the cellphone away, and don’t drive if you’ve consumed drugs or alcohol.”
“Our members, along with other police officers across the province, will be out this weekend, specifically seeking out those who have chosen to drive impaired,” said Sgt. Ian Barr of the Regina police traffic section.
“Anyone we find ignoring the drinking and driving laws will be held accountable. The cost of drunk driving can be immense – injury, loss of life, loss of income, and legal consequences are all realistic possible outcomes. It’s just not worth it.”
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SGI is reminding drivers the province introduced tough new impaired driving laws at the start of the year. This includes a three day license suspension and vehicle seizure for experienced drivers caught driving with a blood alcohol content over .04.
There is a zero tolerance policy for drivers under 21 and anyone in the Graduated Driver Licensing program operating a vehicle with any level of drug or alcohol in their system. If caught, the penalty is a minimum 60 day license suspension and three day vehicle seizure.
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SGI suggest alternatives to impaired driving, like taking a cab, calling a friend, using public transit, a designated driver service or just stay the night.
Some police agencies will also be rewarding safe driving behaviour with a positive ticketing campaign over the long weekend.
Additionally, SGI is reminding long weekend travelers that increased traffic means an increased chance of being involved in a collision.
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The insurance company’s preliminary 2016 data shows 255 collisions last May long, resulting in 82 injuries and two deaths.
Saskatchewan’s provincial parks will also have a temporary alcohol ban, which lasts from May 18-22. Cottages and commercial businesses in parks are not affected.
Some regional parks are also implementing alcohol bans.