Sask. RCMP announces mandatory roadside alcohol screenings on all lawful stops starting April 1

Starting April 1, the Saskatchewan RCMP will conduct mandatory roadside alcohol screenings at all lawful traffic stops.

The announcement comes after the Saskatchewan RCMP charged more than 1700 individuals with impaired driving in 2023, with more than one-third of all fatal collisions involving alcohol.

The RCMP notes that drivers must only complete an alcohol screening if they are pulled over for other traffic violations (e.g., speeding, careless driving, brake lights not working, etc.).

“The certainty of a Mandatory Alcohol Screening is to help discourage those consuming alcohol from getting behind the wheel,” shares Superintendent Grant St. Germaine, the Officer in Charge of Saskatchewan RCMP Traffic Services, “It goes without saying that someone’s ability to mask their impairment should not be the determining factor if someone gets home safely to their family each night.”

As for what drivers can expect from a mandatory alcohol screening, RCMP said it would be done with an approved screening device called the Alco-Sensor FST and only takes an average of 90 seconds.

If a driver is over the alcohol legal limit, it can result in the following, but is not limited to:

  • Criminal Code conviction for impaired driving;
  • Impounded vehicle;
  • Suspended driver’s licence;
  • Initial $2,250 penalty and;
  • An immediate drop to -20 demerit points on your licence

Suppose a driver refuses a mandatory alcohol screening or fails to provide a suitable breath sample; RCMP said in that case, it is classified as a “failure to, or refusal to comply with demand,” – which may result in a Criminal Code conviction, suspended driver’s licence, impounded vehicle, a drop to -20 demerit points, and financial penalties.

The changes come as the Saskatchewan RCMP hopes to see a decrease in impaired driving charges throughout the province.

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