Government, law enforcement agencies, emergency services and MADD Canada are joining together again this holiday season to help keep impaired drivers off the roads.
Operation Christmas is an annual campaign aimed at reducing impaired driving and encouraging motorists to practise safe winter driving. Kentville Police teamed up with Kings District RCMP and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada for the kick-off today, Nov.30, in Kentville.
“Driving while impaired, whether by drugs or alcohol, puts Nova Scotians at risk,” said MLA Keith Irving on behalf of Minister of Justice, Mark Furey. ”We all have a responsibility to keep our roads safe. If you plan to consume alcohol or cannabis this holiday season, don’t drive.”
Impaired driving is one the leading causes of preventable death and serious injury on Nova Scotia’s roads. Getting behind the wheel while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol is not only dangerous, it is against the law.
“We want to see everyone get home safely over the holidays,” said Insp. Dan Murchison, officer in charge of Nova Scotia RCMP traffic services. “By driving sober, you're protecting yourself and those who share the road with you.”
Police will set up checkpoints targeting impaired drivers across Kings County to begin the campaign. Roadside screening devices will be in use and specially trained police officers will conduct on-site standardized field sobriety testing. More checkpoints will be in place across the province throughout the holiday season. Motorists are also encouraged to call 911 if they see a driver who appears to be impaired.
“A crash resulting from impaired driving can result in tragic consequences,” said Julia Cecchetto, chief, Kentville Police Service. “Having a plan to get home can save a life.”
Anyone who fails the roadside test will be subject to further testing and could be charged with impaired driving by drug or alcohol.
“The Christmas season is the busiest time of year for celebrations and the risk of people driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is greater,” said Susan MacAskill, MADD Atlantic regional manager. “We don’t want there to be an empty place at the dinner table this year.”
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Operation Christmas kicked off today (November 30th) in Kentville. The annual campaign aims to help keep impaired drivers off the road and encourages motorists to practice safe winter driving.
Police will conduct onsite sobriety assessments and use roadside drug and alcohol testing equipment at checkpoints across Kings County. More checkpoints will be in place across the province throughout the holiday season. On behalf of Justice Minister Mark Furey, MLA Keith Irving reminded Nova Scotians that drug or alcohol impaired driving puts people at risk.
Motorists are also encouraged to call 911 if they see a driver who appears to be impaired.