It's been just over two and a half months since Mandatory Alcohol Screening came into effect in Alberta and the Airdrie RCMP are reporting on the stats they've found in using the enforcement tool since then.
The new enforcement tool, which came into effect on December 18th, 2018, authorizes police officers to demand a breath sample from any driver that's been lawfully pulled over in a traffic stop, even if the driver isn't showing any sign of alcohol impairment.
Constable Tracy Hare of the Airdrie RCMP says there's no need for the police to be suspicious before making the demand to the driver to provide a sample of his breath. Hare has run the statistics on Mandatory Alcohol Screening from December 18th through February 28th.
"Just interested in looking at those dates to see the first few months of implementation to see what this looks like statistics wise for the City of Airdrie alone."
The numbers only reflect drivers charged through Mandatory Alcohol Screening and don't include other drivers who were charged with impaired driving or received suspensions based on reasonable probable grounds or suspicion of impairment by the police.
"During this period," according to Hare, "we detected three AZAT suspensions which is the Alberta Zero Alcohol and Drug Tolerance, so that is for GDL drivers and that resulted in a 30-day license suspension and a seven-day vehicle seizure. We detected 12 IRS suspensions which is the Immediate Roadside Sanctions and that results in a 72-hour suspension of license and a vehicle suspension for the same 72-hours. And also we detected three impaired driving charges. So this is where the driver is over the legal limit which is .08 and they were charged and arrested at that time."
Hare also points out some interesting facts about the 18 drivers charged.
"Of those 18 drivers that were within the suspensions, we had 14 male drivers and four female drivers. Their ages ranged from 20 to 62 years with the average being 34."
The RCMP say that Mandatory Alcohol Screening will greatly increase the number of drivers screened for impairment which in turn will result in even more impaired drivers being detected.
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