By Greg Price
It was a province-wide blitz this past weekend by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as with the holidays, so too comes checkstop season.
Every RCMP detachment across the province were doing checkstops as the Taber/Vauxhall detachment will be continuing the trend every day in the month of December for checkstops.
“December 2, we did one with Bow Island RCMP out in Grassy Lake and another one just west of town (near Barnwell),” said Cst. Corinne Oliver of the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP detachment.
The checkstops in the M.D. of Taber region by the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP detachment will be one a day, either during the day or night, set up in different locations.
“Obviously we are checking for impaired drivers, so make sure you are not drinking and driving and try and have a designated driver,” said Oliver. “We will also be checking for alcohol in vehicles. If there is alcohol in the vehicle, it needs to be locked up out of the driver’s reach. So in the truck of your car or the back of your pick up —out of the driver’s reach.”
To ensure everyone’s safety at a checkstop, proceed slowly and follow the officer’s directions.
To ensure a chance visit with an RCMP checkstop is not a bad one, preplanning is encouraged if enjoying libations is on the agenda this Christmas season.
If close enough and the weather is co-operating, walk to your destination instead of driving.
Have a taxi service number at the ready in your wallet and draw out enough funds prior to drinking to ensure you have money at the ready for the fare.
Assign someone who does not drink as the designated driver. When the designated driver wants to go home for the night, so do you, no exceptions.
Do not get separated from your designated driver, it may put you into a bad decision making moment while intoxicated.
Host a party yourself and have people surrender their keys at the door as the gatekeeper to avoid drinking and driving.
Don’t be afraid to take someone’s car keys. If the person gets angry, it’s probably proof you’re doing the right thing.
Offer non-alcoholic beverages. Water, juice, pop – give your guests plenty of alternatives. And never pressure guests to drink alcohol. Serve plenty of food. A full stomach can slow the rate of alcohol absorption. Serve a great meal or have plenty of appetizers on hand.
Stop serving alcohol well before the party ends. Give your guests an extra hour or two without alcohol before they head out the door. Pay attention to your guests’ alcohol intake and behavior.
If someone has had a lot to drink or seems even the slightest bit tipsy, call a cab or set up a ride with a sober driver.
If attending the party and you’ve had too much to drink, ask if the host has an extra bed or couch to crash on instead of jumping in a car.
You can always drive the next day, aided by sleeping it off.