White Rock police focus on drug, alcohol impairment this holiday season

Additional training ‘equips officers to detect multitude of substances’

(White Rock RCMP Twitter photo)

(White Rock RCMP Twitter photo)

Mounties in White Rock will be putting a particular focus on drug-impaired driving this holiday season.

According to a news release issued by Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls, the emphasis follows enhanced training conducted over the past year in sobriety testing, as well as an additional officer receiving certification as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) – training that has resulted in one officer, Const. Patrick Grydziuszko, removing a total of 22 drug- or alcohol-impaired drivers from the road.

The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) “provides enhanced skills on detecting alcohol and drug impairment, while the DRE officer uses advance skills to support drug impaired charges,” the release states.

Grydziuszko’s success – logged since January – demonstrates “the effectiveness of the training.”

Pauls said while most impaired-driving interceptions by police happen prior to any collision, that is not always the case.

“In White Rock this year, officers have responded to drivers that have smashed into parked cars, collided with other motorists, rammed a police vehicle, hit barriers, barreled through red lights, and nearly missed pedestrians, all while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” information in the release states.

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“Illegal or recreation drugs do not mix with driving, but it must also be stressed that not following warnings on prescription medication can lead to driver impairment that has serious safety and legal consequences,” Pauls adds.

“Our detachment is well equipped with trained officers and roadside screening devices to detect a multitude of substances that may cause driver impairment. This is zero tolerance enforcement and you will see many check stops throughout December to detect and deter impaired driving.”

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