Steinbach RCMP report they caught four impaired drivers during the four weeks of the Holiday Checkstop program last month. Staff Sergeant Harold Laninga says two were caught at checkstops and two during routine patrols. He puts the four impaired charges in perspective.
"I think one impaired driver is too many. We average about five a month (in the Steinbach detachment area). Unfortunately, there are about 60 impaired drivers a year here in Steinbach that we are able to actually locate and charge. So that's about five a month and for the month of December we have four."
Laninga says there are some positives in the fact they ran more checkstops than ever before and impaired charges for the month were a little below average.
"I think we checked a record number of vehicles. We focused strictly on the evenings, so every evening there was a checkstop conducted. And then, Traffic Services were also conducting checkstops, sometimes during the day, sometimes at night."
He believes a change in the law that allows police to ask for a breath sample without having to prove prior suspicion of drunk driving has helped people to think twice before getting behind the wheel. Laninga says Operation Red Nose is also a big factor in reducing impaired driving during Christmas and New Year's celebrations.
Laninga says no drivers were charged with drug-impaired driving last month.