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Checkstop campaign launches in Alberta

Police are hoping the checkstop program launched Friday will get impaired drivers off the road, by engaging friends and family to keep those drivers from getting behind the wheel in the first place.

'One leads to another and before you know it you have had more than you remember'

An RCMP checkstop near Cochrane, Alta. Friday launches the seasonal campaign to curb impaired driving. (Calgary Police Service )

Police are hoping the checkstop program launched Friday will get impaired drivers off the road, by engaging friends and family to keep those drivers from getting behind the wheel in the first place.

Alberta RCMP Sgt. Darrin Turnbull says the numbers can come down if the bystanders step up.

A Calgary checkstop. (CBC)

"If you see they have had too much to drink, be the good person to stand up to them and say, 'Hey, I will call you a cab,'" Turnbull said.

"Let me help you get home."

Police set up a checkstop near Cochrane Friday afternoon.

Friday's launch in Alberta coincides with the Canada-wide National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day, but Turnbull says 'day' isn't totally accurate.

"We are calling it a one-day blitz but it is the start of the checkstop season for us," he said.

"We will be out tomorrow night and every night between now and New Year's Day."

Drivers found with a blood alcohol level over .05 get a three-day suspension and their vehicle is seized on a first offence, police say.

Nationally, five checkstop blitzes have pulled over 345,000 cars resulting in 2,500 enforcement actions.

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