News / Calgary

Enhanced checkstops coming for Calgary Stampede: CPS

The Calgary Police Service has a new set of wheels when it comes to identifying impaired drivers, and officials say they’ll hit the road just as the Calgary Stampede kicks off.

On Thursday, representatives from the Calgary Police Service traffic section revealed two new checkstop vehicles that will be introduced alongside regular checkstops over Calgary Stampede, running from July 3 to 12.

Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey said during the 2014 Calgary Stampede, officers charged 46 people with impaired driving and it’s a number they hope to see reduced this year.

“It’s disappointing that there’s still that many because the message has been put out for years and years and it’s just so socially unacceptable these days, so 46 is just far too many,” he said.

“We hope it is less this year,” he said, noting funding from the province has enabled the CPS to hold additional checkstops on top of the regular ones they do on a weekly basis.

The vehicles are 24-foot vans equipped with mobile testing facilities, a bathroom and two private phones for legal advice.

Stacey said the $150,000 vehicles are extremely cost effective when compared to the bus the CPS had previously used for checkstops.

Stacey said while the police want residents and visitors to enjoy Stampede to the fullest, they still have a social responsibility to do so safely.

“When you know you’re going to one of the beer tents or somewhere out on the ground where you know you’re going to be drinking, plan in advance,” he said, noting those who make plans are more likely to stick to them.

He said individuals also have a social responsibility to others on the road to ensure friends and family members who have been drinking don’t get behind the wheel.

“As a good citizen and a good friend, it would be your responsibility to make sure that your friend has a proper way home,” Stacey said.

“We all drive on the roads, our families drive on the roads and we’re all vulnerable to impaired drivers.”

However, while police are always on the hunt for impaired drivers, Stacey noted the CPS has seen a reduction of 18 per cent in impaired driving apprehensions in 2015.

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