The traffic safety spotlight from SGI and law enforcement throughout Saskatchewan in the month of March this year is on impaired driving, and members of the Weyburn Police Service have that on the top of their minds. 

“They are doing the traffic stops with due diligence,” said Weyburn Police Chief Jamie Blunden Tuesday morning. “We had a high visibility enforcement project that happened last night as well, so it is the month to behave and make sure that if you are going to drink we are asking you to get a designated driver or call for a taxi.” 

In the past week, the Weyburn Police Service had encountered a few impaired drivers. In the early morning hours of last Monday, a youth female driver was arrested after crashing a vehicle into front yard bushes of a home on Brimacombe Drive. She was charged with impaired driving, refusal to provide a breath sample and resisting arrest.  

Then, the following evening, a traffic stop was done when an officer noticed an expired license plate. The driver was suspected of being impaired but refused to provide a breath sample. The driver was arrested, and charged with refusal to provide a sample, as well as resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. 

A third incident happened this past Sunday afternoon. The Weyburn Police Service was called to the scene of an accident where one of the vehicles left the scene. Police said the man who was driving was found a short while later, along with the vehicle, and was arrested for being impaired. He was charged with impaired driving after failing a breathalyzer test.  

The first two incidents reported by police prompted a reminder from Blunden. 

“Refusal has just as much weight as an impaired driving charge,” Blunden explained. “So, on these two incidents, both individuals were charged with refusal – one was charged with refusal for a breath sample, and the other one was for an ASD – alcohol screening device – demand that was read to them on the street.” 

Blunden also pointed out that alcohol isn’t the only thing that can result in an impaired driver.  

“We have the ability to take a swab, and as a result, you could be charged with impaired driving by drug. We have experts out there that are trained in drug recognition as well.” 

Impaired driving charges under the criminal code can result in a suspension of your license until the charges are resolved in court, the impoundment of your vehicle, impaired driving education, and possibly a mandatory ignition interlock. This is all in addition to any fines or other penalties imposed by the courts, which could include jail time.