Airdrie police charge four impaired drivers in five hours
Airdrie’s Integrated Traffic Unit (ITU) officers took four suspected impaired drivers off of Highway 2 in five hours, Sept. 29.
Around 6 p.m., officers responded to a complaint of a silver BMW driving erratically on southbound Highway 2 near Didsbury. When the vehicle was located, the driver, a 25-year-old Airdrie man, showed signs of being impaired and was arrested and charged with two impaired driving-related offences.
At around 7 p.m., ITU officers were dispatched to a 911 call regarding a brown Dodge truck travelling southbound on Highway 2 near Crossfield that was reportedly swerving. Officers intercepted the vehicle and discovered the driver, a 37-year-old Airdrie man appeared to be impaired.
At 10:10 p.m., ITU officers responded to another 911 call of a possible intoxicated driver. The offending vehicle was a silver Ford F-150 headed southbound on Highway 2 near Didsbury. When officers located the vehicle, they discovered the driver, a 31-year-old woman from Breton, Alberta had been drinking alcohol. The woman was charged with two impaired driving offences.
The final incident took place at 11 p.m., when ITU officers were notified of a motor-vehicle collision on Highway 2 near the Olds overpass.
A blue GMC truck rear-ended a GMC Terrain, causing it to leave the highway and rollover. None of the three occupants of the Terrain were seriously injured.
After the accident, the GMC truck fled the scene. An ITU officer on his way to the scene of the collision located the truck and took the driver into custody.
The driver, a 46-year-old Brooks man, has impaired-driving charges pending against him.
“Locating four suspected impaired drivers in the span of about five hours is certainly concerning for us,” said Sheriff Jason Graw, with the ITU. “It means that there are still people out there who are not getting the message about drinking and driving. On the other hand, the fact that we apprehended them all successfully shows that the system works. Call 911 if you see a driver that you think is impaired, and our officers will do their best to track the vehicle down and investigate.
“We believe that each and every suspected impaired driver we remove from our roadways contributes to making our communities a safer place.”
Impaired driving continues to be the leading criminal cause of death in Canada. As a result, apprehending impaired drivers is one of the top six priorities of Alberta’s Integrated Traffic Units, said Graw.
This month, Airdrie ITU officers will be conducting targeted occupant restraint enforcement.
The move is being made in accordance with Alberta’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Plan (STEP) which is managed by the Office of Traffic Safety and has the goal of reducing the number of serious injury and fatality collisions on Alberta roadways.
“In focusing our attention on occupant restraints, officers will be paying particular attention to seatbelts and child safety seats,” said Graw. “We want to see everyone in the vehicle properly buckled up, no matter what their age.”
In Alberta, children who weigh less than 40 pounds and are less than six years of age must be secured in an infant or child-safety seat. The seat must be properly secured in the vehicle and the infant or child must be properly buckled into the seat.
“When it comes to infant and child seats, the best advice we can give is to follow the instruction manual that comes with your seat,” said Graw. “It will tell you how the seat must be installed and how your child must be buckled in. Further, your vehicle’s instruction manual will often have important information concerning which seating positions must be used and where the tether points are located. If parents are still unsure if they have installed their child seats correctly, they can come into our office and we will check the seat for them.”
For vehicle occupants who older than six or weigh more than 40 pounds, the vehicle seatbelt must be worn properly. Smaller children may require a booster seat to ensure the seatbelt is positioned correctly.
“One common mistake that we see with both adults and older children is that the shoulder strap is worn under the arm,” said Graw. “The reason this is not legal is that the shoulder strap must be correctly positioned in order to be the most effective. Wearing the seatbelt under the arm positions the belt incorrectly, reducing its effectiveness and putting the vehicle occupant at risk of injury in the event of a collision."
A ticket for an unworn or improperly worn seatbelt is $115. The same fine applies to all infant and child-seat infractions.
“Seatbelt enforcement is one of the top six priorities of Alberta’s Integrated Traffic Units,” said Graw. “Statistics in Alberta show that properly wearing an occupant restraint increases the chances of survival in a collision by almost fifty percent.”
For more information, visit www.saferoads.com
If you have information on any crime, contact Airdrie RCMP at 403-945-7200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or www.crimestoppers.com