Police across Quebec are trying to catch motorists

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Police across Quebec are trying to catch motorists who are driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs

Police officers across Quebec are preparing to take a big hit to arrest motorists who risk driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs during the holiday season, but also throughout the year.

“The purpose behind it is to save lives,” recalls Mathieu Synnott, provincial coordinating sergeant of disability capacity for the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).

Around 11:30 pm on Friday, police cars from Montreal and Longueuil formed a funnel on Rolland-Therrien Boulevard, in Longueuil.

“Are you okay ma’am? Where are you tonight? » asked the patrolman. He is coming back from work. The agent let him go.

A few interventions later, a man admitted to drinking a few glasses of sangria. He had to stop and take a breathalyzer test. Finally, his blood alcohol level was below the threshold of 8 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

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Concerted operation

Eight police checks took place at the same time in Greater Montreal on Friday, as part of the Concerted National Alcohol-Drug Operation, which ran from November 30 to January 2.

Earlier in the evening, more than sixty patrol officers from several Greater Montreal police forces attended the Influence Squad training, an SQ initiative that allows troops to share their knowledge before it is implemented.

On the menu: movement coordination tests, mandatory screening and reminder of what the law says, restricted in the country since the legalization of cannabis in 2018.

“It’s good Refresh compared to what we learn in school,” explained Claudie Fillion, patrol officer of the Longueuil urban police service for two and a half years.

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“On the road, there is a lot of impaired capacity. We see everything. Alcohol is the most current. People often exaggerate their ability to drive. Many people exceed 0.08,” he emphasized.

Methamphetamine, cocaine and cannabis

But the police also learned about different types of drugs. Because stimulants, such as methamphetamine and cocaine, are among the most investigated drugs, ahead of cannabis, Sergeant Synnott recalled.

Thierry Laforce / Agence QMI

If the police intensify their interventions during the holiday season, checks are carried out throughout the year, the trainer warns.

Since the implementation of the Influence Squad at the end of 2020, 15,000 interventions have been made with people to check their abilities.

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Sergeant Synnott remembers that driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is a real scourge.

Thierry Laforce / Agence QMI

On average, 122 people died each year in the last five years in Quebec as a result of collisions involving impaired driving.

Those who risk driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs risk criminal charges, vehicle impoundment and driver’s license suspension.

There are many alternatives such as using a designated driver, taxi, public transportation, a ride service like Nez rouge, or choosing to stay with a host for the night.

Thierry Laforce / Agence QMI