A ‘MAS­sive’ re­form will help RCMP re­duce and re­move im­paired driv­ers on the road

The McLeod River Post - - Family, Farm & Garden - Spe­cial to the Post

To­day Dec. 10), Al­berta RCMP Traf­fic Ser­vices dis­cussed the im­pact of the up­com­ing leg­is­la­tion of part two of Bill C-46 on po­lice de­liv­ery, which will put Manda­tory Al­co­hol Screen­ing (MAS) into force on Dec. 18, 2018.

On Dec. 1, the RCMP par­tic­i­pated in Na­tional Im­paired Driv­ing En­force­ment Day, a Canada-wide ini­tia­tive that brings to­gether RCMP of­fi­cers and Al­berta Sher­iffs on pa­trol to re­move im­paired driv­ers from the road. A to­tal of 11, 895 ve­hi­cles were checked. On this day alone, Al­berta RCMP laid 23 charges for im­paired op­er­a­tion by al­co­hol and two charges for im­paired op­er­a­tion by drug. We can’t al­low these num­bers to con­tinue to grow, or ex­ist.

Next week, the al­co­holimpaired driv­ing re­forms will give po­lice ad­di­tional au­thor­ity to de­tect and re­move all in­stances of im­paired driv­ing.

“Al­berta po­lice ser­vices are work­ing to­gether to im­ple­ment the changes brought about by Bill C-46, in­clud­ing Manda­tory Al­co­hol Screen­ing (MAS),” said Chief Mark Neufeld, Pres­i­dent of the Al­berta As­so­ci­a­tion of Chiefs of Po­lice. “A large and credible in­ter­na­tional ev­i­dence base sug­gests MAS is one of the most ef­fec­tive road safety mea­sures avail­able and that it has re­sulted in sig­nif­i­cant and sus­tained re­duc­tions in im­paired driv­ing and re­lated deaths and in­juries.”

The RCMP is com­mit­ted to us­ing MAS in an eq­ui­table and nondis­crim­i­na­tory fash­ion for con­sid­er­a­tion in ev­ery in­ter­ac­tion with driv­ers. The RCMP is con­fi­dent that the test can be com­pleted within the reg­u­lar com­pli­ance check that nor­mally takes a few min­utes.

“These are short in­ter­ac­tions that we need to have be­cause Cana­di­ans re­quire and de­serve pro­tec­tion from all im­paired driv­ers on the roads,” said Su­per­in­ten­dent Gary Gra­ham, Al­berta RCMP Traf­fic Ser­vices. “When MAS is used as widely as op­er­a­tionally prac­ti­cal, it will help us ac­com­plish our pub­lic safety goals, while fully pro­tect­ing the pub­lic’s le­gal and con­sti­tu­tional rights.”

The new law rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant shift in mod­ern­iz­ing and sim­pli­fy­ing ap­proaches to en­forc­ing im­paired driv­ing as a trans­porta­tion of­fence.

Al­berta RCMP re­minds the pub­lic that im­paired driv­ing, of any kind, is com­pletely avoid­able and il­le­gal. When mo­torists fol­low safe driv­ing prac­tices, such as plan­ning ahead and ap­point­ing a des­ig­nated driver, the risks of death and in­jury, to them­selves and oth­ers are re­duced.

For more in­for­ma­tion, fol­low our #Traf­ficSafety tips on im­paired driv­ing on Face­book @ RCMPinAl­berta and Twit­ter @RCMPAl­berta.

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