Airdrie RCMP members are growing increasingly concerned by the dangerous decisions of some drivers following the recent arrests of commercial truck operators who were allegedly travelling the QEII while impaired by alcohol.

Between February 8 and February 11, 2014, a joint effort by the Airdrie Integrated Traffic Unit and employees of the Balzac Commercial Vehicle Inspection Station resulted in the arrest of two semi truck drivers and the temporary seizure of three vehicles.

On February 8, at approximately 8:00 p.m., a 50-year-old driver from Ontario drove his rig to the Balzac scale. An officer at the inspection station noticed the driver was struggling to manoeuver his vehicle and approached the truck’s cab. The employee called RCMP after noticing signs that the semi truck driver had been drinking.

RCMP officers took two breath samples from the man which indicated he was impaired. Charges are pending against the driver.

Arlen Masson, a representative of the Balzac Vehicle Inspection Station, says staff at the weigh scale are on the lookout for impaired drivers.

“They know what to look for, both mechanically and when dealing with drivers,” said Masson. “When you stop someone and you can see that they’re impaired, you can smell the alcohol, or their mannerisms lead you to believe they’re impaired, that’s when we start an investigation and turn it over to the RCMP.”

On the afternoon of February 11, staff at the Balzac Commercial Vehicle Inspection Station received an anonymous phone call indicating two semi truck drivers had been drinking liquor at a local truck stop. RCMP were informed of the anonymous tip and officers intercepted the two trucks.

One of the drivers, a 41-year-old man from Vancouver, provided a breath sample which resulted in a 72 hour suspension.

The other driver, a 38-year-old man from Calgary, failed a roadside breath sample test and was processed for impaired driving. Criminal charges are pending against the driver from Calgary.

All three semi trucks were towed and seized for a period of three days. The drivers from Ontario and Calgary have been suspended from driving.

"Three (impaired driving arrests) in a month is disheartening,” said Cpl. Darrin Turnbull of the Airdrie Integrated Traffic Unit. “It’s frustrating for us as officers because we work so hard to keep the highways safe. We’re very happy that the commercial vehicle enforcement officers were able to help us out.”