As Christmas approaches, the holiday traditions are beginning to materialize. Coloured lights shine brightly on houses with perhaps a reindeer or two on the front lawn. It’s a time for family and friends to come together and enjoy each other’s company and express gratitude for all the blessings they have received. The police will be out there as well with flashing red and blue lights, reflective cones and a friendly, “Good evening, Yukon checkstop.”
During the very first checkstop of the 2014 Christmas season, most drivers were sure to say, “Glad you’re out here tonight,” followed by a cheerful “Stay warm!” as they drove away.
And you know what? It does cheer you up to know that most people don’t mind taking the few necessary minutes at the checkstop. We always enjoy saying hello, even if we’re only halfway through a long, dark, cold and endless shift. We’re happy to make every possible effort as we’re always hopeful that people are really getting the message this year.
So how did it go? Well, within 30 minutes of the first set up of our very first checkstop on Friday evening, Traffic Services, with the help of Whitehorse auxiliary officers, arrested two drivers – one for impaired driving and one for refusing to provide a breath sample, with one driver being issued a 24-hour suspension.
Over the Christmas and holiday season, “M” Division Traffic Services will be setting up checkstops across Whitehorse. As well, local RCMP detachments will be conducting checkstops in the communities throughout Yukon.
How did the rest of Friday and Saturday turn out? Unfortunately, the rest of the weekend did not go as hoped. Another two drivers were charged with impaired driving; one of those drivers was almost three times the legal limit. As well, another two 24-hour suspensions were issued.
On Dec. 5, police across Canada will be participating in the National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day. This is where a concerted effort is put in by all RCMP officers across the country to combat impaired driving. To show how serious we are with this initiative, the commanding officer of “M’’ division will leave the comforts of his warm and toasty office to brave the frosty temperatures and assist the members on the street conducting checkstops.
Cpl. Shawn Pollard
RCMP “M” Division,