Lacombe Police Service rolls out holiday roadside check stops

Lacombe Police Service rolls out holiday roadside check stops

Officers with approved screening device can request a breath test from anyone they lawfully stop

The Lacombe Police Service will be conducting roadside check stops at various locations in Lacombe this holiday season in an effort to get impaired drivers off the streets.

“We recognize that this is a special time of year when people get together with friends and family to celebrate the season,” said Police Chief Lorne Blumhagen. “We understand that citizens are going to get out and celebrate, however we encourage everyone to celebrate responsibly by not driving after consuming alcohol or cannabis.”

“We would also like to encourage party-goers to plan ahead and make alternate transportation plans,” said Blumhagen. “Do not risk losing your license, your job or worse, your life or the lives of any others on the road.”

Under the new federal legislation, effective Dec. 18th, 2018, police officers who have an approved screening device on hand can request a breath test from any driver they lawfully stop, even if the officer does not suspect the driver has alcohol in his or her body.

Sober or not, a driver who refuses to provide a breath sample would be charged with refusal to provide a sample, which carries the same criminal penalties and provincial sanctions as an impaired driving charge.

In Alberta, for a first impaired or refusal conviction, the minimum punishment is a fine of $1000 along with a one year driving prohibition. Subsequent offences will result in imprisonment.

Along with roadside check stops, police are also encouraging the public to report impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1 from a hands-free device to help keep the roads safe.

-Submitted by the Lacombe Police Service