Responsible Holiday Celebrations

Cop Corner with S/Sgt. Luis Gandolfi, Issue No. 41

This time of year usually sparks fun times and celebrations between family and friends alike.  It’s important to share these moments and enjoy the holidays; but it’s equally important to conduct ourselves responsibly and ethically.  It’s been said so many times already but the issue of impaired driving always seems to surface during the holidays.  This year we’re deploying teams on weekends and evenings meaning it’s very likely that you’ll pass through one of our checkstops this holiday season.  We know that some individuals choose back roads to get from one place to another and the community should feel safe knowing that we know where most of these locations are and we’ll be monitoring back roads accordingly.
There are consequences to an impaired driving conviction and gone are the days of a six month suspension and a $500 fine.  In Alberta for a first offence you can expect an immediate license suspension that is sustained until the criminal charge is resolved, a 3 day immediate vehicle seizure, a requirement to attend a “Planning Ahead” course, and a mandatory ignition interlock system for a minimum of one year, and these are just the Provincial sanctions.  The Criminal Code still has to play out which can include a fine of up to $5000 and a 30 day sentence for a second offence.  I guess the message as always is to plan ahead and make good choices.
Over the years I’ve also observed that the holidays can also be a source of grief and sorrow for families.  Those that are isolated from their loved ones throughout the year often feel more isolated during the holidays when no contact is made with them.  Without inserting myself into personal affairs, just consider that the holidays should be a time of forgiveness and harmony.  No better time to extend an olive branch than during Christmas.  Please consider these points over the next several weeks and above all else, enjoy the holidays.  Best wishes to you and yours…Stay Safe.