**** NS justice Media Release
Operation Christmas Aims to Stop Impaired Driving
Government, law enforcement agencies, emergency services and MADD Canada are joining together again this holiday season to help keep impaired drivers off the roads.
Operation Christmas, a yearly campaign aimed at reducing impaired driving and encouraging motorists to practise safe winter driving, was launched today, Dec. 4, in Stellarton.
“The holiday season is a special time to be with family and friends, however, it is also important to remember that the holidays are a difficult time for many Nova Scotians,” said Mark Furey, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “I encourage people to plan ahead and make arrangements for a safe way home and to ensure no one gets behind the wheel while impaired.”
Impaired driving is a leading cause of preventable death and serious injury on Nova Scotia roads. Motorists are encouraged to call 911 if they see a driver who appears to be impaired.
“Nova Scotia RCMP are out 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to detect and remove impaired drivers from roadways. As long as people continue to risk their lives and the lives of others by driving impaired, we will be there to find them and hold them accountable.”
– Darren Campbell, superintendent and officer in charge of RCMP Traffic Services, Nova Scotia RCMP
“Nova Scotians can expect to see an increased presence and visibility of police in their communities over the holiday season. There will be more checkpoints to ensure people are getting home safe and taking impaired drivers off the roads.”
– Mark Hobeck, chief of police, Stellarton Police Services
“The holiday season is the busiest time of year for celebrations, and the risk of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is increased. When enjoying gatherings with family and friends we remind everyone to make responsible choices, plan to have a safe ride home or stay the night.”
– Susan MacAskill, Atlantic regional manager, MADD Canada
— it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs
— it is illegal under the Criminal Code to drive with a blood-alcohol level above .08
— a driver can lose their licence for a week or more for driving with a blood-alcohol content of .05 to .08
— cannabis in any form, including medical cannabis, cannot be used by drivers or passengers. Fines can be up to $2,000 for consumption of cannabis in a vehicle
— if convicted of drug-impaired driving, the minimum penalty for a first offence is a fine of $1,000 and a one-year licence suspension