Monday, January 30, 2023

LPS performing check stops the next few weeks

If you’re going out the next couple of weeks, so are the Lethbridge Police Service. 

LPS will be holding check stops through the month and into the New Year in an effort to apprehend impaired drivers.  The goal of the The Christmas Check Stop program is to remove impaired drivers from the road, and help decrease the risk to public safety. In addition, police will be checking for valid driver’s licenses, vehicle registration and insurance along with equipment, liquor and any other violations. 

Any drivers with a blood alcohol concentration over .08 will face criminal charges and, if convicted, a criminal record. Under the provincial Immediate Roadside Sanctions (IRS) program, if an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a driver is impaired or over the legal limit, an IRS Fail will be issued, resulting in a 15-month suspension, with an option of getting an ignition interlock device after three months. It also results in a 30-day vehicle seizure, $1,000 fine and a mandatory completion of the Planning Ahead course. 

The full amount of a first FAIL offence, with towing, storage, fine, interlock device, and enrolling in the program can range to upwards of $5,000. 

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Any drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .05 or over are subject to an IRS warning which results in an immediate three-day license suspension and vehicle seizure along with a $300 fine. These penalties increase with repeat offences. 

Drivers on a Graduated Driving License have a zero tolerance, an offence will result in an immediate 30-day license suspension, seven day vehicle seizure and a $200 fine. 

Police are also able to issue an immediate 24-hour suspension for drivers that are suspected of being impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a physical or medical condition that affects the ability to operate a vehicle safely. 

In Alberta, police have authority to request a breath test from any drivers who is stopped lawfully. Sober or not, if a driver does refuse to provide this, they can be criminally charged. 

During this holiday season, if you’re planning to consume alcohol or drugs, make sure to plan ahead for a safe ride home. Use a designated sober driver, call a taxi, or use a service like Operation Red Nose to get home safely. 

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