A province-wide initiative to stop impaired drivers this holiday season is starting this weekend.
The ‘Holiday CounterAttack‘ project is coordinated by the B.C. government, local police units, and ICBC, and features an increased number of road checks set up across the province, starting Saturday, December 1st.
During the month-long campaign, Traffic Services Units and detachments throughout the province will be implementing their respective enforcement plans on various dates.
On Vancouver Island, this includes a coordinated effort by the Island District Traffic Services’ ‘Light up the Highway’ initiative, through which planned check-stops will run the length of the island.
Officers will be using standardized field sobriety testing and specially trained drug recognition experts at these stops, and will also be enforcing impaired driving laws in accordance with the recently imposed cannabis legislation.
“A small decision can have great consequences,” says Superintendent Davis Wendell, Officer in Charge of BC RCMP Traffic Services.
“If you are planning on drinking or using drugs this holiday season, please do not drive. By finding an alternative way home such as public transit, taxi or a designated driver you can ensure that you, and others sharing the road with you, get to their destination safely.”
Impaired drivers can face a variety of strict penalties in BC, including driving suspensions from 24 hours to 90 days, vehicle impoundment, fines ranging from $600 to $4,060, or jail time.
According to ICBC statistics, an average of 68 people in BC lose their lives to crashes caused by impaired driving each year – around 10 people on Vancouver Island are killed in these accidents per year.
‘Impairment’ is defined to include alcohol, illicit drugs, and medicines.