Calgary’s police chief said officers will be out watching for impaired drivers as more restrictions lift across the country and people hit the road.

“We’re going to be out in full force to make sure that folks are abiding by the laws,” Calgary Police Service (CPS) Chief Const. Mark Neufeld said. “You see it every month, but you’re going to definitely see it this month being July.”

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July marks Impaired Driving Prevention Month, when law enforcement agencies and organizations spread awareness about the impact impaired driving can have on Albertans and their families.

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Alberta RCMP said last year they took more than 300 impaired drivers off the roads in the month of July alone.

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“It’s important to be thinking about plans if you’re going to be drinking,” Neufeld said. “With bars opening up and traffic patterns returning to pre-pandemic levels, it’s important to remember that officers are going to be out.”

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Denise Dubyk with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) learned about the very real consequences of impaired driving when her son-in-law Darryl Ray was killed by an impaired driver on May 7, 2000.

“We went from putting soccer schedules together to planning a funeral,” Dubyk said. “You don’t realize the depth of this and the number of people who have been affected.”

“The ripple effect of that is huge.”

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So far in 2021, there have been four deadly crashes involving impaired drivers in Calgary.

In 2020 there was a total of eight.

Dubyk hopes that people will make a plan before they head out for a night of drinking or if they do drugs.

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“Plan a way home ahead of time,” she said. “Honestly, it doesn’t have to happen.”

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