Traffic stops will see mandatory Alcohol Screenings in May in HRM

(RCMP photo)

FALL RIVER/LOWER SACKVILLE: The Halifax Regional RCMP Detachment and RCMP Southeast Traffic Services will be conducting roadside Mandatory Alcohol Screenings (MAS) during all traffic stops in Halifax Regional Municipality communities served by the RCMP throughout the month of May.

In 2018, the MAS became part of the Criminal Code Section 320.27(2), being a lawful demand of a breath sample from any driver of a motor vehicle, without the need for reasonable suspicion.

Drivers will not be pulled over for the sole purpose of completing a MAS – the MAS will only be requested once a driver is pulled over for other various traffic violations (i.e. speeding, careless driving, brake lights not working, etc.).

Why is the RCMP conducting Mandatory Alcohol Screenings?

Impaired driving is a leading cause of fatal and serious injury collisions.


What can I expect if asked to do a Mandatory Alcohol Screening?

The Mandatory Alcohol Screening will be done with an approved screening device called the Alco-Sensor FST and only takes an average of 90 seconds.

If a driver has a blood alcohol level over the legal limit of .08 it can result in the following, but is not limited to:

  • Criminal Code conviction for impaired driving;
  • Impounded vehicle; and
  • An immediate driver’s licence suspension.

For more information on the consequences of impaired driving:

Drivers should also be aware of Blood Alcohol Suspensions:


What if I refuse the Mandatory Alcohol Screening?

When a driver indicates they will not provide a breath sample or if they fail to provide a suitable breath sample it is classified as a “failure to, or refusal to comply with demand” – which may result in a Criminal Code conviction under Section 320.15(1), suspended drivers licence and impounded vehicle.

Hopeful changes for our roads and highways

“The certainty of a Mandatory Alcohol Screening is to help discourage those consuming alcohol from getting behind the wheel,” shares Cpl. Chuck Simm, RCMP Halifax Regional Detachment Traffic Unit.

“This is part of our work to help keep our roads and highways safer.”

Road safety is a priority for the Nova Scotia RCMP. We continue to encourage members of the public to call 911 if they see a suspected impaired driver.