With 18 roadside suspensions handed out in the West Kootenay over the weekend, the sobering fact is there are still drivers who are drinking, and/or drugging, then getting behind the wheel.
“As you can see from one day of extra police effort, it appears there are many out there who are still not getting the message to not drive while they are, or might be, impaired by any substance,” Sgt. Chad Badry from West Kootenay Traffic Services told the Trail Times.
“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be sober when driving.”
To launch this holiday season’s CounterAttack, a police-run roadblock tactic to catch drug and alcohol impaired drivers, West Kootenay Traffic Services, alongside local detachments and municipal police officers, were out in heightened force on Saturday for “National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day.”
That one-day blitz took eight criminally-impaired drivers off the road. Badry says each of the eight were given a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition.
This is the criminal level of impairment that comes with a 30-day vehicle impound, he explained.
Another two drivers were given a three-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition, which comes with a three-day vehicle impound.
Five drivers were given a 24-hour driving prohibition. Of those driving infractions, four were alcohol-related and one involved drugs, though Badry did not specify which drug.
Besides getting impaired drivers off the road, police issued dozens of fines for other driving offences.
Badry says four speeding tickets (unsafe speed) were handed out, eight were ticketed for not wearing a seat belt, one criminal interdiction (drugs) is on file, and four non-criminal code violations (liquor) were issued.
There were another 26 unspecified violations, not including eight for vehicle defects.
Last weekend was just the start of CounterAttack across the West Kootenay region, as well as the rest of B.C.
“This is a month-long campaign that was kicked off with police officers across the country doing a one-day blitz looking for impaired drivers,” Badry said. “We have a number of extra shifts scheduled and plan to continue the campaign for the entire month. We would like to remind drivers that at all times of the year, they should find alternative means to get places when under the influence of alcohol or impairing drugs rather than driving.”