The changes in the RCMP’s power to test for impaired drivers at ordinary checkstops has resulted in one roadside suspension so far – but overall the feedback from drivers has been positive, said the Bonnyville RCMP.
Early on Jan. 1, Bonnyville RCMP ran on a checkstop on Lakeshore Drive and arrested a 24 year old male after a mandatory alcohol screening.
The vehicle was seized for seven days and his license was suspended for 30 days.
This is the only arrest in Bonnyville as the result of Bill C-46, which gives officers the power to ask for a mandatory screening on checkstops.
However, the new rules do not mean every stop will require an impairment test, just when an officer asks the driver for one.
“If we ask, you have to provide. It doesn’t necessarily mean the officer will ask on every stop,” said Cpl. Kim Hillier.
“The basis of the stop has to be a legal stop, we’re not just randomly picking pink cars this week. It has to be a legal stop and then the officer can request a mandatory screening happen,” she said.
Cpl. Hillier said the holiday season was a good opportunity during checkstops to answers questions from those pulled over.
“I did have some feedback from the members, they did a checkstop and did multiple mandatory screenings, and I would say 98 per cent of the feedback from the drivers was very positive. They felt it was quick, easy, and an effective way to deal with possible impaired drivers,” said Cpl. Hillier.