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‘Leave the car home’: MADD, police urge motorists to drive safe and sober this long weekend

Safe, sober driving promoted heading into Labour Day weekend
WATCH: Concern over impaired driving also increases during long weekends. As Andrew Cromwell reports, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and local police are trying to get the word out heading into the last long weekend of summer.

It’s the Labour Day long weekend and Mothers Against Drunk Driving along with local police are getting the word out not to get behind the wheel impaired.

A MADD road check was set up today in Rothesay, N.B., in conjunction with Kennebecasis Regional Police where information pamphlets were handed out to motorists to plant the seed in advance.

“Unfortunately people see an increase in impaired driving during long weekends,” said Gina Hooley, chapter president of MADD Saint John.

“People are celebrating. It’s the end of summer kickoffs, back to school (and) work promotions. We just want people to be safe while they’re doing that.”

READ MORE: MADD Canada’s first-ever Alberta roadside memorial pays tribute to Calgary man

Hooley says impaired driving on average kills four and injures 175 people a day in Canada. She says that is something that doesn’t have to happen because driving impaired is a choice and everyone can plan ahead.

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“You know that before you go out you need a safe drive home,” said Hooley. “Make that plan. Have an action ready to go. Leave the car home.”

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If you don’t make that plan, rest assured police will be on the lookout. Expect spot checks around the province.

“(Police will be) stopping cars on a regular basis, checking for impaired driving and potentially road checks,” said Sgt. Mike McCaig of the Saint John Police Force. “Obviously we don’t advertise where and when we’re doing it but we certainly will be looking at that during the holiday weekend.”

READ MORE: How many drinks is too many under new impaired driving rules?

The fight against impaired driving is an ongoing battle, and groups like MADD are always in need of people to volunteer their time. Hooley, a 10-year MADD volunteer, says it is a rewarding experience.

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“We have volunteers that do things like road checks, we have volunteers that help do things like calling, we have volunteers that do victim support services. There’s no skill level too great or too small.”