Here's how many drunk drivers were busted on first weekend of holiday roadblocks

Dec 9 2021, 12:26 am

It was a busy weekend for police forces around the Lower Mainland.

Not only was last weekend the beginning of the annual month-long CounterAttack campaign, but December 4 was also National Impaired Driving Day.

Between December 3 and 5, more than 20 drivers were found to be impaired by alcohol or drugs while behind the wheel around Metro Vancouver.

In North Vancouver, officers issued provincial roadside suspensions to five drivers. They received three-, seven-, or 30-day suspensions.

Another three drivers were handed 90-day driving prohibitions.

“We have extra officers out running roadblocks all month. We’re around the next corner, and you won’t see us coming, so make sure someone sober is behind the wheel,” said Sgt. Peter DeVries with North Vancouver RCMP.

In Surrey, officers checked approximately 2,200 vehicles and said six provincial roadside suspensions were issued for alcohol, while there was one 90-day prohibition.

A couple of drivers were also suspected of being under the influence of drugs. RCMP in Surrey say they issued one criminal code impaired by drug charge and one provincial roadside suspension for drugs.

Overall, Surrey RCMP say the stats are low, which is a good thing and proves the work of members and partner agencies is having a positive impact.

In Langley, one driver received an immediate roadside prohibition for an alcohol-related driving offence. Their vehicle has also been impounded for 30 days.

In Burnaby, CounterAttack checkpoints found two drivers were impaired, and officers said they will be conducting more road checks throughout the month of December.

So, other than losing your licence, what are the consequences?

Sgt. DeVries said, “Drivers subject to enforcement face the potential for vehicle impoundment, fines from $600 to $4,060, jail time, mandatory rehabilitation, or required installation of ignition interlock in their vehicle.”

According to the BC RCMP, provincial stats show an average of 65 people die each year in collisions where alcohol, drugs, or medication is involved (five-year average from 2016 to 2020), making impaired driving fatalities one of the leading causes of death on our provincial roadways.

A release goes on to say that impaired driving, defined as driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, is entirely preventable, yet it continues to happen with devastating consequences. Police will be using every resource at their disposal to remove impaired drivers from the road, including the use of Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and specially trained drug recognition experts.

Police are also fully prepared to enforce the federal Cannabis Act and BC’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.

Amanda WawrykAmanda Wawryk

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