The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) partnered with fast food restaurants with drive thru windows in Burlington in April, 2017 on Project Drive Thru, a pilot initiative aimed to help get drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol out from behind the wheel.
Project Drive Thru was developed by Constable Dave Stewart of 3 District (Burlington) District Response Team as a result of the number of complaints he and fellow officers were receiving from drive thru employees about suspected impaired customers appearing at their windows.
The message behind Project Drive Thru is simple: If you see it, call it. Project Drive Thru provides drive thru employees with the tools to quickly and easily identify customers under the influence and the confidence to do something about it.
Managers and supervisors at participating Project Drive Thru restaurants receive information cards explaining the program and offering tips on how to relay the information to employees. Laminated posters highlighting signs of impairment are also provided. Because many drive thru workers are high school age, ubiquitous emoji’s are used to make Project Drive Thru’s key messages relatable.
To further enhance employees’ understanding of what to look for, the Service created an in-house video specifically for Project Drive Thru. Shot on location at a drive thru after-hours and cast by HRPS employees, the segment re-enacts common scenarios from the point of view of an employee with commentary from a Halton police officer. A link to the video is available on this page.
Signs of impairment highlighted in the video include inability to navigate the drive thru or operate vehicle instruments, the smell and/or sight of drugs or alcohol in a vehicle or on a driver’s breath, drowsiness, glossy eyes, slurred speech and reduced motor skills.
Project Drive Thru and others are part of the Service’s broader Community First policing philosophy that focuses on incorporating the four pillars of (community) safety and well-being into service priorities: Emergency Response, Risk Intervention, Prevention, and Social Development. More information can be found at www.haltonpolice.ca under Community or by following @HaltonPolice on Twitter or Facebook.
Members of the general public are reminded that impaired driving is a crime in progress and to report it immediately by calling 9-1-1.
For more information about Project Drive Thru or to inquire about how your drive thru restaurant can take part, contact:
Cst. Dave Stewart
905-825-4747 Ext. 5358 or D.Andrew.Stewart@haltonpolice.ca