If anyone has ideas about how to keep impaired drivers off the road, Cpl. Shawn Pollard wants to hear them.
There were 16 people charged with impaired driving throughout the territory during recent holiday check stops, he said. This was high, “especially considering the weather,” said the head of the traffic unit for the Yukon RCMP.
“It’s obviously very frustrating,” said Pollard. “We did all kinds of stuff out there,” he said. The police advertised the stops and had bags with gift cards to reward designated drivers. But the public still seems to not be getting the message.
One of the drivers in a head-on collision Saturday is being investigated for impaired driving, he said. The accident involved a small car and a pickup truck. No one was seriously injured, he said.
Another 17 24-hour driving suspensions were handed out, he said. Of those, nine were for people suspected to driving under the influence of drugs, he said.
The police have also been targeting drivers with suspended licences, he said. At one time, they arrested someone for driving with a suspended licence for the fourth time, he said. “We are going to catch you,” said Pollard.
And the New Year did not begin so happily for the Watson Lake RCMP detachment.
The Christmas season was fairly slow, said Sgt. Cam Lockwood. But that changed on Dec. 31. There were two members scheduled for New Year’s Eve, but four more had to be called in. By the morning of Jan. 1, they had six members working and 11 people in cells, he said.
Most in the cells were there because of alcohol-related offences. It was “surprising,” because the liquor store was closed and there’s no bar in Watson Lake, he said. They included reports of disturbances and assaults. A couple people had to be treated for cuts at the hospital, he said.
Three of the prisoners were arrested for possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, said Lockwood. On the morning of Dec. 31, police seized three ounces of cocaine. It could have sold for between $17,000 and $18,000, he said. He does not know where it was produced, he said. The accused are still in custody.