Vancouver police plan liquor crackdown during Celebration of Light
Vancouver police plan to crack down on public drinking when the annual Celebration of Light fireworks competition starts this weekend at English Bay.
“We’re going to be vigorously enforcing liquor laws,” Chief Jim Chu told reporters during a briefing today (July 25) about public-safety plans for the free event.
The 2012 Honda Celebration of Light features fireworks displays from Vietnam on July 28, Brazil on August 1, and Italy on August 4.
Hundreds of thousands of people from across Metro Vancouver and beyond are expected to crowd the shoreline around English Bay for the public shows, which start each night at 10 p.m.
Chu said several hundred police officers, paramedics, and firefighters will be deployed during the fireworks nights.
He said police agencies across the region will be focused on enforcing liquor laws on the transit routes that shuttle many people into Vancouver for the event.
“What that means is, rather than just wait for people to arrive in Vancouver and try to stop the liquor from coming in, police officers will be deployed along the SkyTrain line, along the Canada Line, different transit points—anywhere where people are out in the suburbs thinking of coming into Vancouver,” he said.
He said officers must follow laws when conducting searches for liquor and can only do so “based on reasonable grounds”.
Chu also warned that people caught illegally possessing or consuming alcohol can face fines of $230. Youth caught with alcohol can also expect a call to their parents, he said.
“This year as in past years we’re not expecting any major public disorder disruptions, but, you know, with several hundred thousand people coming down it’s really important for us to have plans in place to make sure people get to the event and from the event in a safe manner.”