Members of local law enforcement were present at yesterday's presentation of the Estevan chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
"Early in 2018," explained Police Chief, Paul Ladouceur, "we conducted community consultations in relation to the concern that impaired driving both in Estevan and throughout the province of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan remains to be the highest when it comes to impaired driving and certainly, we want to see that change. We can't do that alone."
"Through those community consultations, there were a number of recommendations that came from that, including more education from restaurant and bar staff, increased inspections, increased police presence, increased high visibility check-stops, names released of accused persons, bar and restaurant coaster messaging, school education, messaging from students, the creation of an Estevan MADD chapter, and a focus on changing the culture. I can tell you that the creation of the MADD chapter brings almost to the conclusion the majority of these recommendations."
Impaired driving is the number one criminal cause of death in Canada, over and above homicide.
"When we look at impaired driving, I think we often forget the people who are responding to those tragedies. I can tell you as a responder for over 26 years, I have many, many times had to attend houses at 2 am and (say) that their loved one has died."
Sgt Jeff Clarke, detachment commander with the Estevan RCMP also spoke on the dangers of driving on the same roads with an impaired driver.
"It's those other drivers on the road that we have to worry about. I like to imagine a society where we can drive down the road and not have to worry about those other drivers. That's the direction we're all working towards - a society where impaired driving is not acceptable."
"We have the partnerships in place and organizations such as MADD coming to assist us is great. MADD offers support and resources for victims, survivors, they specialize in education programs for the youth, public awareness and education, as well as partnering with traffic safety organizations."
He added that the creation of a MADD chapter in Estevan is long overdue.
"On behalf of the RCMP and the communities we serve, I'm honoured to welcome a MADD chapter to the Estevan area. I look forward to many years partnering with them to keep our roads safe from impaired drivers."