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.
“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.
“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.