RCMP getting better at nabbing impaired drivers
For some reason some people are still choosing to ignore all the dangers and consequences that come from drinking and driving, but eventually they're going to get caught.
Placentia-Whitbourne District RCMP say there isn’t a spike in the number of drunk drivers in the area, police officers are just getting better at catching them.
“ We don’t think there are more people drinking and then getting behind the wheel of their car, we’re just getting better at catching the ones who do,” says Sergeant Boyd Merrill. “ Our increased enforcement is proving to be very effective. Our members are vigilant; they’re out there making sure the roads and highways are safe and are watching out for impaired drivers all the time and best of all, they’re catching them.”
Over the Jan. 22-24 weekend members of the PlacentiaWhitbourne district nabbed three drunk drivers and charges may be laid against a fourth.
Around 11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22 a woman was charged with refusing the breathalyser after she was pulled over by police near Norman’s Cove. The woman failed the roadside screening device, received a 90day suspension and was taken to the police station in Whitbourne. A court date has been set for provincial court in St. John’s.
The following day, Saturday, Jan. 23 around 12: 15 a. m., officers responded to a single rollover car crash in Whiteway. The man was taken to the Carbonear General Hospital where police attempted to give him the breathalyzer. Because he refused he was charged with failure to take the breathalyzer. A court date has been set Grace.
Meanwhile on Sunday Jan. 24 at about 1:55 a.m. a man was issued a 90-day driving suspension after failing a roadside breathalyser test
“For some reason some people are choosing to ignore all the dangers and consequences that come from drinking and
driving, but eventually they’re going to get caught.”
– RCMP Sergeant Boyd Merrill
near Normans Cove.
About 8:30 a.m. the same morning, another male was involved in an ATV crash resulting in injury near South Dildo. Because of his injuries he was unable to take the Breathalyzer so he was given a blood demand.
Police believe the male was impaired at the time of the crash. Once his blood is analyzed, further charges could be laid
That same weekend PlacentiaWhitbourne RCMP also received reports of two other suspected impaired drivers, but were unable to locate the individuals.
“ We found the vehicles, but they were empty,” said Merrill.
Impaired driving investigations are for the most part the result of proactive police work: police officers patrol and observe drivers for signs of impairment like slow driving, driving without their lights on, speeding, or weaving in and out of their lane.
Placentia-Whitbourne RCMP members use roadblocks and other tactics day and night to help them catch drunk drivers. They also rely on information from the public.
“A lot of the tips we get come from Crime Stoppers or just average citizens who see someone driving erratically and report it,” says Merrill. “ The community is really involved in helping us apprehend these drunk drivers. Targeting impaired driving saves lives.”
Meanwhile drinking and driving continues to cause death and injury on Newfoundland and Labrador’s roads. Each year there are more than 700 drinking and driving convictions recorded in the province. An estimated 85 to 90 percent of convicted drivers are first-time offenders.
“For some reason some people are choosing to ignore all the dangers and consequences that come from drinking and driving, but eventually they’re going to get caught,” says Merrill. “If they don’t end up destroying their lives, they are going to ruin someone else’s. Absolutely no good comes from impaired driving. It’s time it was extinct, just like the dinosaur.”
Sgt. Boyd Merrill, Placentia-Whitbourne RCMP