The holidays are a happy and festive time of the year. A time for celebration with family and friends. Do not let your holiday be remembered for tragedy. As people come together, alcohol and other intoxicating substances frequently become a part of those gatherings. This in turn leads to an increased potential for incidents of impaired driving, often resulting in death or serious life-changing injuries as people travel from one location to another.
According to statistics from MADD, every day, on average, up to 4 Canadians are killed and many more injured in alcohol and/or drug related motor vehicle crashes on public roads. During the 12 days of Christmas, this number translates up to approximately 48 Canadian families' lives who will be irrevocably changed as a result of impaired driving over the holidays alone.
During the month of December, police officers in the Northwest Territories will be participating in Operation Gingerbread – an initiative intended to put an increased focus towards the detection of impaired driving. Officers will be conducting traffic stops and roadside checkpoints with the aim of preventing impaired driving and compliance with the Motor Vehicle Act.
Wherever your holiday travel plans may take you this year, please be vigilant and report any signs of possible impaired drivers to your local police detachment or safely call 911 where that service exists.
If your celebration plans include the consumption of intoxicating substances, please be sure your plans also include alternatives for travel back home. These plans could include having a designated driver, calling a taxi or rideshare service. You can also arrange to stay for the night where you may be celebrating. The key to good holiday planning is to have a plan before you party.
Please remember: Friends don't let friends drive impaired.