As we approach the last long weekend of summer, motorists can expect to see an increased presence of RCMP members patrolling roadways and conducting checkpoints in an effort to keep Nova Scotians safe.
From June 1 to September 1, 2016, there were ten fatalities related to motor vehicle collisions on roads policed by the Nova Scotia RCMP. As well, RCMP members charged 214 individuals for driving while impaired by alcohol, and 12 individuals for driving while impaired by drug.
“We know that long weekends often equate to parties, especially as people prepare to return to their September routines,” says Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, Nova Scotia RCMP. “Many of our members are specially trained to detect drivers impaired by alcohol or drug, and those members will be out in full force this weekend.”
Cpl. Clarke adds, “We want Nova Scotians to enjoy themselves, but to think ahead on how they plan on getting home safely.”
The Nova Scotia RCMP is reminding motorists that in Nova Scotia that there are close to 200 RCMP members who have received specialized training to detect impaired drivers.
When pulling someone over for suspected impairment, police officers have a number of options to determine whether or not drivers are operating while impaired, such as administering a Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST) or Alcohol Screening Device. They can also return to the detachment to have a Breath Technician determine blood alcohol content or a Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) conduct a Drug Influence Evaluation (series of physical tests).
Failure or refusal to comply can result in criminal charges that have the same penalties as impaired driving. There are range of fines and periods of driving prohibition for those convicted of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
“Impaired driving investigations can be complex, especially when they involve both alcohol and drugs,” says Cst. Heidi Stevenson, RCMP Drug Recognition Evaluator. “That is why DREs are trained to determine if a person is suffering from the effects of illegal or prescription drugs, illness or fatigue. We need to dispel the myth for those who think that getting behind the wheel after consuming drugs will go undetected.”
The Nova Scotia RCMP is asking citizens to call 911 if they suspect someone is driving impaired. Here are some signs of an impaired driver:
•Driving unreasonably fast, slow or at an inconsistent speed
•Drifting in and out of lanes
•Tailgating and changing lanes frequently
•Making exceptionally wide turns
•Changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance
•Overshooting or stopping well before stop signs or stop lights
•Disregarding signals and lights
•Approaching signals or leaving intersections too quickly or slowly
•Driving without headlights, failing to lower high beams or leaving turn signals on
•Driving with windows open in cold or inclement weather
After calling 911, state your location and if possible, provide:
•A description of the vehicle, including the license plate number, color, make and model
•The direction of travel for the vehicle
•A description of the driver
Source: Media Release