- The Sûreté du Québec is reminding drivers that... if you're going out - so are they.
- The police will be out in high numbers over the next couple of weeks as the holidays get into full swing and people start to drink more.
- Police stops may request mandatory breathalyzer tests and they will also be keeping an eye out for drivers under the influence of drugs.
Quebec police will be out in high numbers and increasing police stops over the next month or so as the holiday cheer begins to spread across the province. As we all know, the holiday cheer is often aided with a few alcoholic beverages and the Sûreté du Québec wants to be sure that those drinks aren't followed by any driving.
This also marks Quebec's second Christmas with legal cannabis, another substance that is prohibited while operating a vehicle, so officers will be on the lookout for drivers who are high, as well.
In addition to the 18 police forces across Quebec who will be increasing their presence on the road, the Sûreté du Québec is also teaming up with Operation Nez Rouge or Operation Red Nose, a road safety campaign now in its 36th year.
Operation Red Nose offers rides home for people who have had too much to drink and know better than to drive. They will be available in 100 Canadian communities this season between November 1 and December 31, 2019.
All of this means you have a very high chance of being stopped at a checkpoint in the upcoming weeks, so be prepared to pull over and prove you're sober.
The tweet below, sent out from the Sûreté du Québec's Twitter page reads, "Several roadside checkpoints will be held tonight, across Quebec, to see if drivers' ability to drive is impaired by alcohol, drugs or a combination of both."
The theme of the Sûreté du Québec's operation this year is, "You're going out? Us, too." In their release, they remind drivers that, "patrollers will intervene intensively" during roadside stops and checkpoints to determine whether drivers are impaired by alcohol, drugs or both.
The tweet below reads, "Launch of the concerted national operation "Driving drunk or high is a crime!" in [Trois-Rivières] is gathering more than 60 police officers from 18 organizations in collaboration with Contrôle routier Québec, the SAAQ and Operation Red Nose."
If you remember, last year in Canada a new law was passed that now allows police officers to require a breathalyzer test from drivers without any "reasonable suspicion." This means that in the past, an officer needed some kind of indication of impairment to ask for a test - now they can just ask anyone to blow before they go.
According to the Sûreté du Québec, 28% of the total annual deaths were caused by alcohol-related crashes between 2013 and 2017.
In that same timeframe, 34% Quebec drivers who died in a road collision had licit or illicit drugs in their blood.
And the percentages get higher as the age of the driver gets lower. Of the drivers in Quebec who were aged 16 to 19 that died in a road collision, 46% had cannabis in their blood.
That number is staggering - nearly half of all teen deaths that happen while driving were implicated by the uses of cannabis.
If you or someone you know needs a safe way to get home, consider Operation Red Nose. You can get a ride by visiting their website at OperationRedNose.com, selecting your region, clicking "Users" and then "Request a Ride."