B.C. RCMP launch winter impaired-driving counterattack, with one-day blitz to be held on December 6

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      With holiday party season upon us, B.C. RCMP is reminding citizens to make arrangements ahead of time to avoid not only fines but also endangering the lives of others or devastating and tragic consequences.

      B.C. RCMP kicked off its Winter Counterattack Impaired Driving Campaign on December 1, which will continue across the province throughout the month.

      According to B.C. RCMP, 68 lives are lost on average each year in the province due to impaired driving crashes involving alcohol, drugs, or medication (based on a five-year average from 2013 to 2017).

      This Friday (December 6), a one-day province-wide blitz will boost police presence on roadways targeting impaired drivers.

      Traffic units throughout B.C. will also implement enforcement plans on various other dates, including a one-day checkstop blitz to be held across Vancouver Island.

      Officers will be using standardized field sobriety testing and specially trained drug-recognition experts, and will be enforcing the federal Cannabis Act and B.C.’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.

      Anyone who suspects a driver of being impaired is asked to call 911 immediately, and provide the vehicle’s license plate, vehicle description, and the vehicle’s direction of travel.   

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      The New Westminster Police Department issued a reminder about planning safe trips home during the holiday season back on November 22 and stated that impaired driving fines can range from $600 to $4,060.

      Police recommend options such as having a designated driver, carpooling, or taking a taxi or public transportation.

      Another option is Operation Red Nose, for those living in Burnaby, New Westminster, the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Belcarra. and Anmore), Langley, Surrey, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Chilliwack.

      Sponsored by ICBC, the volunteer-run Operation Red Nose provides rides to drivers and passengers who feel unfit to drive on Friday and Saturday nights during the holiday season.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook