The Ladysmith RCMP is using new tactics to keep impaired drivers off the streets.
Statistics show that 33 impaired drivers were apprehended in 2014, with 60 in 2015, 75 in 2016, 90 in 2017, and 156 in 2018. The increase in apprehensions is directly related to the RCMP’s new practices.
“It’s not that there’s an increase in the incidents, it’s just the reality that it’s become one of our priorities,” Staff Sergeant Ken Brissard said. “Two years ago, I sat back and thought ‘what can we do that has the biggest impact on safety?’ What one thing can we tackle that will bear fruit, and multiple kinds of fruit?”
Brissard said officers are stopping vehicles they suspect are driving impaired, but officers are trained to look past the vehicle to see what other evidence may be inside. Ladysmith RCMP apprehended a suspected with a large quantity of fentanyl in March using these tactics.
“Sometimes people are not impaired and they’ve been inconvenienced by being stopped, but I will not apologize for that… We’re tasked to keep people safe, and the only people to blame for someone being inconvenienced are the drunks,” Brissard said.