Annual holiday campaign takes aim at impaired drivers

Law enforcement agencies from across the province gathered in Bridgewater Thursday morning for the annual launch of Operation Christmas, a campaign to reduce impaired driving during the holiday season.

Each year, the provincial government, Nova Scotia police agencies and members of MADD Canada come together to make drunk driving a thing of the past.

Checkpoints targeting impaired drivers were set up in Bridgewater to begin the province-wide campaign Thursday. Various checkpoints will be established at different times and locations over the next five weeks – both for enforcement and to remind drivers to plan ahead for getting home safely from holiday gatherings.

“Each and every Nova Scotian can do their part to stop impaired driving. It’s everyone’s problem,” MADD Canada president Margaret Miller said in a press release. “The really disturbing thing is that each and every death and injury is 100 per cent preventable.”

A month ago, the province passed a new law that will increase suspension time for people who reach 0.5 on a roadside breathalyzer test.

Impaired driving continues to be one of the leading factors in fatal collisions in Nova Scotia. In the first 11 months of 2009, there have been 17 deaths from accidents involving impaired drivers.

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