The Northwest Territories RCMP are reminding northern residents to behave responsibly in regard to alcohol over the coming winter holidays.
As people come together, alcohol and other intoxicating substances frequently becomes a part of those gatherings. This in turn leads to an increased potential for incidents of impaired driving, often resulting in death or serious life altering injuries as people travel from one location to another.
According to statistics from MADD, every day, on average, up to 4 Canadians are killed and many more injured in alcohol and/or drug related motor vehicle crashes on public roads. During the 12 days of Christmas, this number translates up to approximately 48 Canadian families’ lives who will be irrevocably changed as a result of impaired driving over the holidays alone.
During the month of December, police officers in the Northwest Territories will be participating in Operation Gingerbread – an initiative intended to put an increased focus towards the detection of impaired driving. Impaired driving also means impaired by drugs. In the Northwest Territories, there is a rise in the number of drug impaired drivers that are making our roadways unsafe.
In support of Operation Gingerbread, officers throughout the territory will be conducting traffic stops and roadside checkpoints with the aim of preventing impaired driving and compliance with the Motor Vehicle Act.
The Inuvik RCMP detachment conducted an evening of enforcement this week in support of this initiative. In one night, the officers issued three 24-hour driving suspensions for alcohol consumption as well as a number of tickets for other driving offences.
Wherever your holiday travel plans may take you this year, please be vigilant and report any signs of possible impaired drivers to your local police detachment or safely call 911 where that service exists.
If your celebration plans include the consumption of intoxicating substances, including cannabis or other drugs, please be sure your plans also include alternatives for travel back home. These plans could include having a designated driver, calling a taxi or ride share service. You can also arrange to stay for the night where you may be celebrating. The key to safe holiday celebrations is to have a plan far a safe and sober ride.