The May Long Weekend was not without a few bumps along the road. Recently there were a number of impaired drivers charged and the Estevan Police Service hope that it is just a product of increased enforcement.
"We're still struggling in that area," explained Police Chief, Paul Ladouceur. "It's an ongoing effort. We had that community engagement meeting awhile back and that has led to us publish names of those charged with impaired driving."
"We are still moving ahead with some of the decisions from the discussions we talked about at our last community engagement meeting. This year the goal is to have the majority of those recommendations implemented."
"We are going to be increasing our spot checks as we move forward, especially with the nicer weather. Not surprising to see a couple of charges, not surprised to see that with warmer weather people are out there."
Ladouceur added that stats can often be misleading when it comes to impaired driving.
"We have to be mindful of the fact that if we put more resources on our streets to check for impaired drivers and encourage the public through social media and other conversations to report on impaired drivers, which this community does a very good job at I might add, it kind of skews the stats a little bit. Because what we see is more people arrested for impaired driving."
"But does that essentially mean that impaired driving is going up? Are there more impaired drivers on the road or are we just in a position where we are catching more of them? We have to be cautious. My assumption is that we're going to see a bit of a spike before we see a decline."
"It's not uncommon for us to see more are getting arrested until that message really truly rings home that people start getting the point that one, they don't want to be arrested and charged and two, the police are taking a serious approach. And I shouldn't just say the police, I think the public has had enough of this. There have been enough people in communities throughout this province that have been severely impacted by impaired driving whether it be losing a loved one or having a serious injury."
"I think people are realizing that culture shift has to change before we see a true benefit in a reduction of impaired driving."
"We're hoping that we see a reduction overall though the course of the year but we are not surprised to see a bit of a spike with the resources we are throwing at it."