Winnipeg cops sweeten the deal for drivers to stay sober over holidays

Click to play video: 'Free Smitty’s pancakes to sober drivers at holiday check stops: Winnipeg police'
Free Smitty’s pancakes to sober drivers at holiday check stops: Winnipeg police
Valerie Funk, with Smitty's Restaurants, announced on Monday that Smitty's, in collaboration with the Winnipeg Police Service have launched a holiday initiative to promote safe driving. Free pancakes will be awarded to all sober and responsible drivers that pass through check stops this holiday season. Coupons for free pancakes can be redeemed at nine Smitty's locations in Manitoba – Dec 5, 2022

Winnipeg police are hoping a tasty twist to their annual holiday checkstop program will encourage drivers to stay alcohol-free on city streets.

The police service says it has teamed up with Smitty’s Restaurants to offer a voucher for a free stack of pancakes to drivers who are found to be following the rules of the road — and driving sober — when pulled over.

Insp. Doug Roxburgh, commander of the traffic division, said despite the fun promotion, impaired driving remains a serious concern in the city.

Read more: Manitoba RCMP and Winnipeg police team up against impaired driving

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“Over the past year, we have seen a spike in fatal and serious collisions in which a number of them involved impaired driving or suspected impairment,” he said.

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“The Winnipeg police are encouraging motorists to always plan ahead of time on how they will get home if they intend to take part in the consumption of intoxicants of any sort.”

According to police statistics, 77 impaired drivers were picked up at holiday checkstops in 2021 — and of the 37 traffic collisions investigated this year, five have involved impaired or suspected impaired drivers and eight have been hit and runs.

Police are encouraging Winnipeggers to call 911 if they see what they believe to be an impaired driver on the road, and to take a bus, share a ride, use Operation Red Nose or have a designated driver if they plan to be drinking this holiday season.

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