There were no impaired drivers pulled over at Brandon Police Service checkstops this holiday season.
Operation Festive Spirits ran from Dec. 6 until the end of the year and checked a total of 3,169 vehicles at 11 designated checkstops.
“It’s encouraging because it suggests there are less impaired drivers on the streets,” said Const. Ron Burgess, public information officer for the Brandon Police Service.
Burgess said the results have been about the same over the past three years of the operation, noting that in 2007 there were four impaired drivers caught at the stops.
The results do not include impaired drivers who were caught outside the checkstops.
On Wednesday, the Brandon Sun reported there had been three separate incidents of people being charged with impaired driving after stopping in a fast-food drive-thru within two weeks.
The checkstops did see the number of offences under the Highway Traffic Act almost double from 15 in 2011 to 27 in 2012. The offences included invalid driver’s licences, disqualified drivers, speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt and cellphone use.
The RCMP’s province-wide Christmas Checkstop program ran in the same time period and resulted in 141 people being charged for impaired driving.
“This year we were more strategic with our stops. We charged the exact same number of people last year as we did this year, but we checked less vehicles,” said Sgt. Line Karpish, media relations for the RCMP.
Last year’s program checked 20,641 vehicles at 517 designated stops, where this year the RCMP stopped 17,391 vehicles at 424 stops.
“It’s disappointing that there are still people that think it’s OK to drink and drive,” Karpish said. “Knowing that 40 per cent of our highway accidents are caused by impaired drivers, we need to keep being out there.”
To report an impaired or suspected impaired driver in Brandon you can call 911.