Bottles and cans of alcohol sit at the side of the road after they were seized by RCMP from folks visiting Entrance Bay in Cultus Lake on Aug. 27, 2005. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Summer is here and with it comes an increase in impaired drivers and more police road checks.

Police throughout the province will be even more vigilant in their efforts to get drunk drivers off the roads over the next few months.

The entire month of July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign and police are stepping up enforcement amid easing COVID-19 restrictions.

Motorists can expect to see enhanced enforcement throughout the province during the month of July and beyond.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is not an excuse to disregard the law – it is never okay to drive while your ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by anything, including drugs or alcohol,” said Supt. Holly Turton, officer in charge of BC RCMP Traffic Services.

Impairment means more than just alcohol impairment – it also means impairment by illegal drugs or prescription medication.

In B.C., an average of 67 people are killed every year in collisions where alcohol, drugs or medications were contributing factors.

“Too often our officers are put in the position of having to notify a family that they have lost a loved one due to an impaired driving collision,” Turton said. “I know from personal experience that this is one of the most difficult aspects of our job – something which is completely avoidable.”

The public may see officers wearing personal protective equipment and, where possible, maintaining appropriate physical distancing. But there will be times when they must encroach on personal space, like conducting roadside sobriety tests.

Turton is reminding folks to drive sober every time they get behind the wheel. If people do plan to drink alcohol or consume drugs of any kind, they should have a designated driver or plan alternate ways home, she said.

“Police in B.C. are committed to keeping our roads safe by removing those drivers who choose to put themselves and others at risk while driving impaired,” Turton said. “Please drive safely every time you get behind the wheel. Bend the curve, don’t break the rules.”

RELATED: Fatal Vision goggles give drivers an impaired-driving experience in Chilliwack

RELATED: Six impaired drivers nabbed in Chilliwack RCMP CounterAttack campaign


 

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Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
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