As police in Edmonton and Calgary ramp up efforts to keep people safe on New Year's Eve, they're asking social media users not to publicize Checkstop locations.
It's not illegal to tweet out locations of Checkstops in Alberta, according to the Calgary Herald, but police say the sharing of the locations undermines the fact officers are trying to get drunk drivers off the road during the year's biggest party night.
"We’re trying to keep everybody safe out there," Edmonton Police Service spokesman Scott Pattison told the Journal.
"The whole goal of the (checkstop) program is to make sure everyone gets home safely. By posting locations of checkstops, you’re circumventing that whole process.”
The fight is the same in Calgary, where a dedicated account has been set up to give up the location of Checkstops.
"If you are facilitating or helping that impaired driver go around the Checkstop, you have no idea what community that person is now going to drive through,” Calgary Police Service traffic unit Insp. Michael Watterston told the Calgary Herald.
“By you giving the location, they’re going to avoid detection and apprehension, and we all know full well that impaired drivers don’t pick and choose who their victims are going to be.”
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But for many revellers wanting to play by the rules and determined to avoid an run-in with a Checkstop, getting out to celebrate the New Year is going to be more difficult than they may realize.
The Calgary Sun raised a social media storm when it reported that there will be no Calgary Transit bus service out of the downtown core shortly after 12:30 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 1. And unlike past years, when party-goers could catch the LRT after bars and restaurants closed, trains this year will stop before then.
Last scheduled CTrain times from downtown: From City Hall to Somerset Station - 1:45 AM From City Hall to Saddletowne Station - 1:49 AM
— Calgary Transit (@calgarytransit) December 31, 2013
And the move may be motivated by savings.
And if past years are any indication, many partiers expecting to get a taxi simply won't get one.
Coun. Shane Keating, chair of Calgary's transportation committee, told CTV Calgary revellers should have a backup plan.
"The difficulty we hear over and over is being able to get through to a cab," he said.
“Designated driver is your best route at this point,” Keating told The Calgary Sun.
“There’s no guarantee you’ll get (a cab).”
And booking, although encouraged, still doesn't guarantee a ride. Booking ahead only prevents one from being on the phone trying to get through.
The president of Associated Cabs in Calgary is encouraging people to book ahead and estimates that 90 per cent of the fleet will be working over New Year's Eve night.
Revellers will have an easier time in Edmonton, where Edmonton Transit Services will be offering free rides one hour past regular service - 3:30 a.m., according to The Edmonton Sun.
LRT service will also increase in frequency following the midnight fireworks in downtown Edmonton.
However, those wanting to get home via cab, are also advised to book in advance, the Edmonton Taxi Service Group told The Sun.