May 30th, 2024

Christmas Check Stop campaign preparing for possible increase in impaired drivers


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on December 3, 2021.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Acting-Sgt. Brent Paxman of the Traffic Response Unit addresses the media regarding the 2021 Christmas Check Stop campaign on Thursday at the Lethbridge Police Station.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge Police Service announced Thursday they are bracing for a busier Christmas Check Stop campaign.
 
The LPS is preparing for the possibility of a greater number of impaired drivers on the road as it kicks off its 2021 Christmas Check Stop campaign this weekend.
“The province has reported a 43 per cent increase in impaired driving charges since December 1, 2020,” said Acting-Sgt. Brent Paxman of the Traffic Response Unit. 
Last Christmas police noted a significant decrease in the number of drivers out on the roads, as restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic limited larger celebrations of the season. Not only were social gatherings restricted, restaurants, licensed establishments and other outdoor events were closed to dine-in service.
Only one impaired driving charge was laid in connection with last year’s campaign.
“While there are still some public health measures in place related to COVID this year, we are anticipating an increase in holiday gatherings and will be there to take any impaired drivers off the road and ensure everyone else can get home safely,” said Paxman.
Given the ongoing pandemic, police will once again be taking extra precautions at Check Stop locations in order to keep both drivers and officers safe.
This will also be the second Check Stop campaign police will be armed with sanctions which allows them to administer stricter penalties on the road. The more streamlined process also reduces down time while police deal with those being charged.
The primary goal of the Check Stop program is to locate and apprehend impaired drivers due to the significant risk to public safety they pose. Police will, however, also be checking for valid documentation including driver’s licenses, vehicle registration and insurance as well as equipment, liquor and other violations.
“If you observe a suspected impaired driver, and it’s safe to do so, please call 9-1-1 immediately,” said Paxman.
He also recommended that if people are going to drink, to make arrangements for a safe ride home, but unfortunately Operation Red Nose is not operational this year once again.

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