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Airdrie RCMP warn students to be safe this grad season

As the end of the school year approaches, students in our community are preparing for graduation celebrations, proms and after parties.

As the end of the school year approaches, students in our community are preparing for graduation celebrations, proms and after parties.

“With those celebrations come the temptation of drinking, drugs and the dangerous and potentially fatal behaviours such as impaired driving,” said Airdrie RCMP Cst. Francine Hennelly.

She suggests parents talk to their teens about the consequences of drinking and getting behind the wheel.

“Stepping in and stopping a friend who’s impaired from driving is a true sign of friendship,” she said.

“If one of your friends has been drinking and shouldn’t drive, don’t let them. They could hurt themselves or others and maybe just a little persuasion from you could mean the difference between life and death.”

The Canada Safety Council estimates that there are at least 16 million incidents of drunk driving every year in Canada.

In Alberta, about 100 alcohol-related fatalities occur every year.

Those convicted of impaired driving in Alberta will face substantial penalties including: a criminal conviction, a criminal record, a three month pre-trial licence suspension, two post conviction driving prohibitions (minimum of one year duration), a substantial fine and skyrocketing insurance.

Hennelly suggested grads arrange for a designated driver before the celebrations begin, call their parents for a ride, take a taxi or stay the night.

“Friends don’t let friends drink and then drive,” said Hennelly.

“In the morning, you’ll have a safer and maybe an even closer friend.”

For more information check out www.MADD.ca or www.deal.org