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‘Impaired driver caught here’: MADD Lethbridge partners with police on campaign

The Mobile 911 Sign Program is coming to Lethbridge later this spring. Eloise Therien / Global News

Anyone driving through Lethbridge might notice new signage on the side of the road in the coming months.

Starting in late April or early May, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) volunteers will place signs at roadside locations where impaired drivers have been caught in the city.

The Lethbridge Police Service has partnered with the Lethbridge & Area chapter MADD and the provincial government for the campaign dubbed the Impaired Driver Caught Here Mobile 911 sign initiative.

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“This is going to make the public aware impaired driving happens anywhere, anytime,” said Anita Huchala.

“It’s going to be a little shocking when they start seeing these signs pop up in their areas, and know that they’re driving the kids to school, or that’s the route they take to work.”

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In 2019, Lethbridge police laid 422 impaired driving charges. That number declined in the years to follow, with 293 people charged in 2020 and 272 in 2021.

Act.-Sgt. Brent Paxman with the traffic response unit said that decrease is due to COVID-19, which saw people going out less and bars closed down, but it’s still prevalent in the community.

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“They’re out there,” he said. “We’re catching them every month.”

“A program like this, we’re hoping will provide awareness for people before they make that decision. Stop it before it happens,” Paxman said. “And awareness for people to call 911 if they suspect an impaired driver.”

Signs will be moved every other week to reflect new impaired driving charges. More information can be found on MADD’s website. 

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