In an effort to protect drivers, Nova Scotia RCMP will conduct checkpoints on Canada Road Safety Week, May 15 to 21, and National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day, which falls on May 19 of the long weekend.
Impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving and improper seat belt use are the four behaviours that put road users most at risk for fatal and serious injury collisions. Members will focus on curbing those at strategic locations throughout the province.
“Safe driving is about being sober, focussed, driving at a safe speed and wearing your seat belt,” says Sgt. Andrew Clarke of the Nova Scotia RCMP. “By doing these things, you significantly reduce your risk of being involved in a serious or fatal collision.”
Drivers who come through checkpoints may encounter sobriety testing. This comes in a variety of forms including roadside testing by an Approved Screening Device (ASD), Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) and evaluation by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).
If you have consumed alcohol, police may demand you provide a roadside breath sample for assessment by an ASD. If your sample is above 80mg%, you will need to provide more samples at a police detachment. If any of those samples exceed 80mg%, you may be charged with impaired driving.
If you have consumed alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs, a police officer may demand you take an SFST. This is a series of standardized tests typically performed roadside.
If a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you are impaired by drugs (including prescription drugs) or a combination of alcohol and drugs, they may demand you be evaluated by a DRE, a police officer specially trained to determine drug impairment. If you are found to be impaired, you could be charged with impaired driving.
Failure or refusal to participate in any type of sobriety testing may result in criminal charges that have the same penalties as impaired driving. These may include jail time, license suspension, fines and/or being sentenced to driver rehab. Newly licensed drivers are subject to different requirements and are not permitted to consume any alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
If you drive impaired, you put yourself and others at risk. Help keep roads safe by wearing your seat belt and driving sober, focussed and at safe speeds. Nova Scotia RCMP will share more safety tips throughout Canada Road Safety Week and National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day. Follow the hashtags #CRSW2018 and #NIDED2018 on Twitter, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia on Facebook, for the latest.