MEDICINE HAT, AB — Medicine Hat police are reminding the public to not drive while impaired and be prepared to get home on New Year’s Eve.
Police say New Year’s Eve can be one of their busiest days of the year
“There’s more people out and about celebrating the new year, so there are usually a few more people out on the road,” said acting Sgt. Chris Wyrostock with the police service’s traffic unit. “With that, it brings more challenges for us, and sometimes, a few more calls for service as well.”
Wyrostock says the patrol section will have its regular levels of officers out on Sunday, and adds roving checkstops will be conducted at several times during the evening.
He adds the most important thing residents can do is plan ahead for ways to get home safely.
“The cabs will be out there, there’s different driving companies that will take your vehicle home for you if you need it the next day, there’s companies that will get your vehicle home in the event that you can’t drive home,” he said.
“Even if you aren’t out enjoying the new year, if you feel you’ve had a few too many drinks, even if you can just stay where you are, that’s an excellent option as well.”
CHAT Television reached out to Deluxe Cabs and Care Cabs, and both said they’ll will have all cabs and drivers on the road during the New Year’s Eve, with approximately 60 cabs in total on the streets.
So far this year, Wyrostock says 103 charges of impaired driving have been laid by police, down from 112 in 2016, and is hoping residents are getting the message about not getting behind the wheel while impaired.
“MADD (Mothers Against Drink Driving) has done a great job in getting the message out about impaired driving,” he said. “Their message seems to be working, and some of the legislation that was brought in in 2012, with the license suspensions immediately after the impaired driving charge is laid has probably helped to keep the numbers down.”
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