Fifteen drivers were taken off the road at four different check stops held from Dec. 3 to 6 as part of an annual stepped-up nationwide effort to promote safe and sober driving.

RCMP officers from Cochrane and Stoney Nakoda and Alberta Sheriffs conducted the check stops both within the Town of Cochrane and Rocky View County.

Cst. Brett Reiben, acting unit commander of Cochrane Integrated Traffic Enforcement, says a total of 600 vehicles were stopped.

He says from 5 p.m. on Dec. 3 to the morning of Dec. 6, nine motorists were found to have blood alcohol over .08, and five were issued warnings for blood alcohol levels of between .05  and.08.

One novice driver was placed on an immediate roadside sanction. Those carrying these licences must record zero levels of alcohol and drugs when driving.

Reiben says even though they were given more resources than usual for the weekend, it is a serious ongoing issue. He says the incident of impaired driving, whether through the use of alcohol or drugs, happens day or night, any day of the week.

"We know this is an ongoing issue, not only in our area but all over Alberta and Canada for that matter."

Check stops aren't always held on Friday and Saturday nights, he says. They can, and have, been conducted any given night of the week.

"Check stops will always be one of the tools that we have for detecting impaired drivers."

Because the criminal code allows for mandatory alcohol screenings, testing is commonly conducted during regular patrols.

National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day was on Dec. 4. Provincewide, 91 impaired drivers were removed from Alberta roadways. 

Of the 91 impaired motorists, 47 drivers received Immediate Roadside Sanction (IRS) fails and 26 received IRS warnings. As well, 14 drivers holding GDL licenses were issued suspensions and vehicle seizures due to having blood alcohol concentrations greater than zero.