Police are wishing for a safe holiday season on Manitoba roads this year.
The Manitoba RCMP officially launched its 2017 Holiday Checkstop program on December 1, and after the first weekend, police say it is clear that Manitobans are still choosing to drive impaired.
Over the weekend of Dec. 1-3, 21 people were charged with Impaired Driving and six alcohol-related tiered suspensions were issued.
“It’s only week one of our Checkstop and we’re already seeing high numbers of intoxicated drivers behind the wheel. Be assured that our officers will be out in full force over the holidays to stop and arrest any driver that decides to drive impaired,” said Inspecto Ed Moreland, Officer in Charge of Manitoba RCMP Traffic Services. “We need Manitobans to plan ahead for a safe ride home to avoid serious, and even fatal, consequences.”
The Holiday Checkstop program runs each year from December 1 to January 1. In 2016, 122 people were charged with an Impaired Driving Offence and there were 60 alcohol or drug related tiered suspensions.
A total of 46 people lost their lives due to impaired driving last year, and three of those were during the holiday season.
To date in 2017, 76 people have been killed and another 166 seriously injured in motor vehicle collisions. Approximately 30 per cent of these deaths and injuries involved impaired driving.
“In the past decade, there has not been a single year when someone has not died on our road during the holiday,” said Insp. Moreland. “One more death is too many.”
Police are hoping to end the year without any more fatalities: "Don’t be a statistic. Buckle up, driver sober, put your phone down and drive for the conditions."