Manitoba RCMP are warning against drinking and driving for the first long weekend of the summer.

Officers say this is traditionally a weekend when more people are on the province's roadways.

RCMP vehicles will continue to use a tool given under Bill C-46, mandatory alcohol screening. This legislation has been in effect since 2018. It allows a peace officer to conduct roadside screenings for the presence of alcohol in the body without needing to have reasonable grounds to suspect impairment. Legislators implemented this as a proven traffic safety measure to deter impaired driving and save lives.

The Manitoba RCMP Traffic Services unit screens everyone they pull over.

"Screening everyone eliminates any perception of bias and helps us catch impaired drivers," says Inspector Michael Gagliardi, Officer in Charge of Manitoba RCMP Traffic Services. "Everyone pulled over by RCMP Traffic Services is asked to blow into an approved Alcohol Screening Device. We need every tool at our disposal to stop impaired driving and other high-risk driving behaviours. Despite all the years of telling people to drive sober and impaired driving kills, impaired driving continues to be the leading criminal cause of death in Canada."

According to police, automated licence plate readers are assisting in enforcement. These readers can read multiple plates and run them while an officer patrols an area so high-risk drivers, prohibited drivers and stolen vehicles can be identified quickly and efficiently.

"Our boots are also still firmly on the ground," adds Inspector Gagliardi. "We are always patrolling the roadways conducting enforcement. Drive sober. Buckle up. Slow down. Stay focused. Choose to get home safely. If we all make that choice, there will be a lot less tragedy on Manitoba roadways."