News release

Province, Police Launch Operation Christmas

The province is joining with police to make Nova Scotia roads safer for travelers this holiday season.

Law enforcement agencies across the province are teaming up today, Nov. 23, in New Glasgow to launch Operation Christmas. The annual campaign is aimed at reducing impaired driving and encouraging motorists to practice safe winter driving.

To signify the start of Operation Christmas, checkpoints targeting impaired drivers will be set up throughout New Glasgow. There will be an increased number of checkpoints across the province throughout the holiday season.

"I have said it many times before, there is zero tolerance for impaired drivers in Nova Scotia," said Justice Minister Ross Landry. "Everyone has a role to play to ensure those who drink don’t drive. By planning ahead to get home safely and making sure others do the same, lives will be saved."

Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of preventable death and serious injuries on Nova Scotia's roads. In 2011, 19 Nova Scotians died in alcohol-related automobile collisions.

"Mothers Against Drunk Driving appreciates the opportunity to participate with law enforcement, responders and other highway safety partners as part of Operation Christmas," said Susan MacAskill, MADD Atlantic regional manager. "Today's provincial launch means police will conduct an increased number of sobriety checks in their own communities over the holidays. We are asking motorists to exercise responsible choices and drive safe and sober.'

New Glasgow Regional Police Service is partnering with Pictou County RCMP, Stellarton Police Service and Westville Police Service to host Operation Christmas 2012.

"Operation Christmas is a shared responsibility between law enforcement and the community to eliminate all injuries and deaths due to impaired driving during the holiday season," said New Glasgow Regional Police Service Chief Delaney Chisholm. "Operation Christmas is a great opportunity for road safety partners to remind motorists about the importance of planning ahead to ensure everyone gets home safely."

The Criminal Code makes it illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol level above .08. Nova Scotia imposes administrative penalties, including a minimum seven-day licence suspension, for motorists who are driving with a blood-alcohol content of .05 to .08.

With winter only weeks away, Nova Scotia motorists are also reminded to prepare for winter driving conditions.

"Canadian Tire welcomes the opportunity to be part of an important program like Operation Christmas," said Tom Mara, associate dealer of New Glasgow Canadian Tire. "With the holiday season upon us and winter weather just around the corner, it is imperative the we prepare our vehicles for safe winter travel. Snow tires and preventative maintenance items such as battery testing, wiper blade replacement and stocking the car with emergency roadside kits will ensure we all arrive at our destination safely."

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province is joining with police to make Nova Scotia roads safer for travelers this holiday season.

Law enforcement agencies across the province are teaming up today (November 23rd) in New Glasgow to launch Operation Christmas. The annual campaign is aimed at reducing impaired driving and encouraging motorists to practice safe winter driving.

Justice Minister Ross Landry says everyone has a role to play to ensure those who drink, don't drive. By planning ahead to get home safely and making sure others do the same, lives will be saved.

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Media Contacts:

Megan Tonet
Department of Justice 902-424-3313 Cell: 902-237-0449 E-mail:
Cst. Ken MacDonald
New Glasgow Regional Police Service 902-759-7277 E-mail: