When RCMP officers in Saskatchewan conduct a traffic stop, they will soon be asking for more than just your license and registration. Starting on April 1st, the RCMP will also be conducting mandatory alcohol screening on all traffic stops they conduct within their jurisdiction.  

In a release issued this morning, it was detailed that mandatory alcohol screening was introduced into the Criminal Code in 2018, with police allowed to make a demand for a breath sample from any driver without the need for reasonable suspicion of being impaired. The release also explained drivers will not be pulled over strictly to administer an alcohol screening – it will only be requested once a driver is pulled over for other traffic violations.  

Those who refuse to provide the breath sample could find themselves charged with failing to or refusing to comply with a demand, which does carry many of the same penalties if convicted as impaired driving. 

“The certainty of a Mandatory Alcohol Screening is to help discourage those consuming alcohol from getting behind the wheel,” said Superintendent Grant St. Germaine, the Officer in Charge of Saskatchewan RCMP Traffic Services in the release. “It goes without saying that someone’s ability to mask their impairment should not be the determining factor if someone gets home safely to their family each night.” 

In 2023, the Saskatchewan RCMP charged more than 1700 motorists with impaired driving.