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Highway 8 Checkstop a success

A recent crackdown on impaired drivers along Highway 8 has been a success according to Cochrane RCMP. The RCMP presented its report to the Springbank Police Advisory Committee on Nov.

A recent crackdown on impaired drivers along Highway 8 has been a success according to Cochrane RCMP.

The RCMP presented its report to the Springbank Police Advisory Committee on Nov. 21, detailing information about traffic collisions, impaired driving, drugs, break and enters and theft.

The report outlined a Highway 8 targeted enforcement project requested by local MLA Ted Morton. RCMP set up a Checkstop at Highway 8 and the Calgary city limits on Nov. 12, stopping 200 drivers in three hours. The program resulted in six 24-hour licence suspensions, two impaired driving charges, two suspended drivers were apprehended and had vehicles seized for 30 days and a quantity of drugs was recovered.

“We’re looking to hit Highway 8 hard,” said Browne of the Cochrane RCMP. “We’re going to be out there and have a presence going over vehicles.”

Impaired driving remains a top priority for local RCMP, who say they have dealt with 194 drunk driving calls since the beginning of the year.

The increase is 26 per cent since last year but Cst. Browne said the numbers may be deceiving.

“The caveat with that one is that this year we’ve been really pushing to go after impaired drivers this year,” he said. “It may not be an actual increase of impaired drivers on our road but we’re pushing to enforce that.”

Drug-related calls have increased more than 23 per cent since 2007, said Browne, a trend the RCMP is hoping to buck with a new in-school drug awareness program.

“It’s just a different approach to the drug war,” he said. “It looks at what actually happens when you purchase marijuana, where the money goes and how it supports organized crime and terrorism as well.”

Browne said he has heard Springbank High School has a reputation for being a “drug school” but called the evidence anecdotal.

“I don’t see anything different from any other high school, at least at that level,” he said.

Drug presentations will be given to high school students beginning in the spring of 2011.

Browne said Cochrane RCMP recovers 40 stolen vehicles a year in Rocky View County, the majority of which are stolen from Calgary.

“One of the emerging things we see is… (criminals) use a stolen vehicle from Calgary, drive it out to a house in Springbank, and do a break-and-enter in the house,” he said. “(They) steal a car from that house and then continue their crime spree.”


Airdrie Today Staff

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