Drinking? Driving? RoadWatch will be there: MPIC

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Manitobans encouraged to make plans to get home safely

September, 2007 – Every year in Manitoba about 104 people are killed in traffic crashes. Alcohol is involved in about one-third of them.

To help reduce these totally preventable crashes, Manitoba Public Insurance is once again funding the RoadWatch program, which provides funding for police to conduct additional impaired driving roadside checks throughout the summer. The program was officially launched today during Manitoba Road Safety Week.

RoadWatch, now in its ninth year, combines increased law enforcement with a public awareness campaign aimed at reducing both the human and economic costs of impaired driving crashes.

“Roadside spot checks are a highly visual, proven way of reducing the number of drinking drivers,” says Manitoba Public Insurance Road Safety Manager Clif Eden. “Through RoadWatch, Manitoba Public Insurance is able to make a very meaningful commitment to stopping impaired driving.”

Extra road checks will be set up throughout the province to catch drivers with blood alcohol concentration levels of .05 or higher. Provincial legislation allows police to issue a 24-hour roadside suspension for anybody “blowing” .05 or over.

Last year, RoadWatch participating police agencies provided 454.86 visibility hours, conducted 71 check stop dates at 191 locations, screened 37,628 vehicles, removed 71 impaired drivers, issued 89 Liquor Control Act infractions, 21 Controlled Drug Substance Act violations and 961 Highway Traffic Act offence notices.

A few seconds of planning may prevent a lifetime of suffering, says Eden.

“Many alcohol-related crashes are totally preventable. If you’re going to drink, know beforehand how you are going to get home safely. Plan ahead—think before you drink!”