2021 impaired-driving numbers keep rising in Manitoba, RCMP say

RCMP conduct traffic control on the Perimeter Highway in the RM of Springfield. Corey Callaghan / Global News

It appears Manitoba drivers are not getting the message about impaired driving.

Mounties say there have been 275 criminal cases of impaired driving so far in 2021.

There have also been 136 immediate roadside suspensions, which is up from the same time last year.

Sixteen crashes are suspected or confirmed to involve impairment.

Read more: Impaired driving charges laid in 2020 fatal crash at Manitoba campground

Tanya Hansen Pratt’s mother, Beryl, was killed by an impaired driver 22 years ago.

“My mother was so kind. She’d get up in the middle of the night to make you soup if you weren’t feeling well,” Tanya said.

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Beryl Hansen, pictured on the front right side, was struck and killed by an impaired driver 22 years ago in Portage la Prairie, Man. Submitted

Beryl was walking down a road in Portage la Prairie at 7 a.m. when she was struck by an impaired driver.

Tanya says it’s surreal that this kind of story is still making headlines.

“It’s so frustrating to see this still continue after all of these years. You’d think after all of this messaging it would sink it, but we still have to talk about it over and over again,” she said.

“I didn’t think 22 years later I’d still have to talk about impaired driving.”

Read more: Interlake RCMP nab three impaired drivers in less than eight hours

RCMP officers also have had a close call with impaired drivers recently.

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A recent incident saw a cruiser get struck by a driver who blew twice the legal limit in the Steinbach area.

Officers also got an impaired driver off the road west of Dauphin Friday night.

This was after people reported a person was driving erratically along Highway 5, nearly missing vehicles.

Investigators say the driver blew three times the legal limit.

Mounties want motorists to remember choices impact more than one person.

“It’s almost like you’re rolling the dice every time if people are out there. It may not be your turn tonight, but who knows, [it] could [be] your family that’s affected,” Manitoba RCMP Sgt. Paul Manaigre said.
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“I’ve been in this role for 25 years, so sadly, nothing really surprises me anymore.”

Tanya wants everyone to keep this message in mind.

“Even if you think it can’t happen to you, it can. I thought this too. I’ve been without a mom for 22 years and it didn’t have to happen,” she said.

RCMP encourages you to call 911 right away if you think you seeing an impaired driver or any kind of dangerous driving.

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