MADD calls for random breathalyzers
Mothers Against Drunk Driving in P.E.I. is lobbying the federal government for a law to allow police to do random breath tests to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road.
|Drunk driving cases in P.E.I.|
MADD told CBC News Wednesday random testing has had a dramatic effect in other countries, with a 20 per cent decrease in deaths and injuries in countries where random breath testing is allowed.
"Now if there's a road stop and a police officer wants to have a person provide a breath sample, they have to be suspicious first," said Amanda Burke, president of the P.E.I. chapter of MADD. "Whereas with random breath testing they could ask anyone for a breath sample at a roadside check."
Convictions for drunk driving on P.E.I. have averaged around 400 a year since 2007, and 16 people have died in drunk-driving related accidents.
There were four arrests in central P.E.I. last weekend, an unusual number for November, and that has RCMP concerned about the coming holidays.
"There will be probably certainly be an increased number of impaired drivers out there," said Const. Gary Mayne.
"It is worrisome. I'm nervous myself being out on the road. I have kids out driving the roads. Every time they leave, you're always worried if they're going to come home."
Mayne said there's a lot of work going into educating people about the dangers of drunk driving, but it doesn't seem to be enough.
"People know. But for whatever reason, they're not getting the message," said Mayne. "People are still choosing to drink and drive and it is a choice."
Mayne said police will be doing what they can with their existing powers, including random road checks over the holiday season, to keep drunk drivers off the road.