Why wait until you’re pulled over to know your BRaC?
I’m pretty sure no one really expects it, but it can seem intimidating being pulled over by the police in a RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) program or roadside stop/check program as the police are looking for impaired drivers. Some may even feel nervous although they have done nothing wrong. So, let me walk you through the process just so you can take a deep breath and relax if you do get pulled over.
The police have been authorized by the Supreme Court of Canada to conduct roadside stop points to check for impaired drivers. Once you have been signaled to pull over during one of these stops, it is customary to roll down your window when the officer approaches your vehicle. Some people may feel a little bit of anxiety, but it’s really okay.
If you do come to a roadside stop, remain calm, cooperative, and polite to the officer. Provide your license, registration, and vehicle insurance if they request it. When you are pulled over for a roadside check, an officer may demand a breath sample be given for a roadside-approved screening device if the officer has a reasonable suspicion you still have alcohol in your body. You should know it’s illegal to refuse to provide one, so you’ll be charged with an offense if you don’t cooperate.
It should be noted that reasonable suspicion may be based on a number of factors such as noticeably erratic driving, the smell of alcohol on your breath, if you have slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or if you admit that you had consumed alcohol. If you admit that you drank even a small amount of alcohol, you are providing officers with some reasonable suspicion required for a roadside roadside-approved screening device test. No worries, right?
Being honest is the best policy. If you have been drinking, even if it was hours ago or you just had one drink, let the officer know the truth. If you know you are not over the legal limit of alcohol, then you have nothing to worry about. One way to know is by using a single-use or individual breathalyzer from Not Your Child Corp. These breathalyzers are quick and easy to use before you get into your vehicle to head home.
Even when you know you have not had much to drink, they may still smell alcohol on your breath because you had just finished that last bit of alcohol before heading home. That’s still not a problem if you used your own breathalyzer before getting into your vehicle. If the officer suspects that you have been drinking, they can ask you to blow into the roadside screening device, or take a Standardized Field Sobriety test, which is a series of tests designed to assess your balance and coordination and is used to determine if a driver is impaired.
This is more of a reason to blow into your own breathalyzer from Not Your Child Corp before getting into your vehicle. This will give you peace of mind and confidence which will allow you to remain calm if asked to pull over during a roadside stop the police may have in place.
Scott Marshall has spent over 30 years promoting road safety in many jurisdictions. He has been a road safety journalist since 2005. Scott was also an on-air judge on the Discovery Network’s Canada’s Worst Driver during their first 3 seasons on the air. Not YourChildCorp. is proud to have Scott @Safedriver as a frequent contributor, his insights are irreplaceable.