The Estevan police service held a meeting on Friday, February 16th aimed at reducing impaired driving. 

"We're very impressed with the meeting on Friday and how well it turned out, in particular the turn out from our business partners in the community. School representation was there, RCMP partners, even our Civil Politicians were there, provincial and local politicians. We even had representatives from SGI there as well," explained Deputy Police Chief Murray Cowan.

During the meeting ideas were gathered and are now being looked over to possibly be put into action. 

"Things like community grants and what not are provided through the Saskatchewan Government and SGI and those types of grants we're looking to apply for and put some of these ideas up or present it to us to use by spending that money in those areas."

There were several bar owners and restaurant owners in attendance.

"That was very impressive to us because of course with them the licensed premise owners, they're the ones that have the ideas, they're the experts when it comes to alcohol and dealing with patrons and that type of thing in the community. They're certainly the people that we look towards to get ideas from to reduce impaired driving stats in our community," he shared. 

"There was a few ideas that we are certainly looking at, one idea that really comes to mind was the idea of using some of the grant money or applying to it to obtain some of the grant money to possibly purchase coasters for example, so when staff at these lounges and premise provide a drink to these people, they'll set them on a coaster and on those coasters it may have some type of advertising that talks about reducing impaired driving." 

"Those are the ideas we are looking at. We often use those funds to implement things and positive ticketing programs. We've used the funding for poster campaigns, using our own officers in the community and putting posters around the community to get the message out there to not drink and drive.

"Maybe buying some advertising space on coffee cups or putting posters up inside the lounges and the bars. Just sending that message home that we're out there," stated Cowan. 

"We've talked a lot about the high visibility check stops that we do and we made it very clear in that meeting that those will continue, that's a preventative approach. We're out there doing that type of thing, obviously people see out there and it sends a message "don't drink and drive or sooner or later you're going to get caught," whether it's by driving through one of these check stops or whether it's just being stopped and checked by one of our roaming patrol officers." 

"When we catch impaired drivers and they're charged with the offense we often say it's too late at that point because they've already made that choice to drink and drive. We're trying to drive the message home that people don't make that decision initially to to drink and drive rather than to try to plan a safe ride home, take a cab, walk or find other means to get home," he expressed. 

"This was our first meeting we've had. We were quite taken back by it and we're certainly looking forward to having more of these meetings in the future with our community partners."



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