A police officer conducts a CounterAttack road check. Members of the Integrated Road Safety Unit were kept busy during recent checks around the West Shore and elsewhere in the Capital Region.

Impaired drivers main target of West Shore RCMP/IRSU holiday blitz

Police kick off December counterattack campaign around region

West Shore RCMP and the Capital Regional District’s Integrated Road Safety Unit are reminding drivers to find a safe way home from celebrations this holiday season.

As part of a provincewide impaired driving enforcement campaign for the month of December, police were out in full force over the weekend.

On Friday, CRD-IRSU joined forces with the West Shore RCMP and the Victoria police to contract check stops in various locations across the region. Roughly 2,300 drivers were checked, of which three received 90-day prohibitions for driving while impaired.

The positive results of the night, said CRD-IRSU Staff Sgt. James Anderson in a release, was that 2,272 drivers were sober and only 25 other drivers appeared to have been drinking. The latter were tested with roadside screening devices and passed the tests.

Anderson considered the night a “win,” with drivers taking the consequences of impaired driving seriously.

“While December is Counter Attack month, impaired driving enforcement is always ongoing throughout the year,” he said. “CRD-IRSU joins its policing and traffic safety partners in saying that one impaired driver on the road is one too many.”

A variety of other tickets were also handed out, which Anderson noted was routine for this type of enforcement.

West Shore RCMP removed one impaired driver from the road on Friday, handed out five tickets for failing to obey traffic control devices and one for failing to produce insurance.

Local officers also handed out six notice of defects and two warnings for failing to display N signs for novice drivers.

Since the beginning of the year, CRD-IRSU has issued 90-day immediate roadside prohibitions to 160 drivers for operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol. Of those, 28 were apprehended between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on various days of the week.

“Quite often we encounter impaired drivers who make a quick trip to the liquor store to purchase more alcohol, thinking that they are so close to home that they won’t get caught,” Anderson said. “Police road checks can pop up anywhere on a moment’s notice and at any time of the day.”

On Nov. 27 for example, CRD-IRSU officers observed a vehicle moving erratically after the driver left a pub on Island Highway. Officers stopped the vehicle to check the driver’s sobriety. The driver failed roadside tests and received a 90-day driving prohibition along with a mandatory 30-day vehicle impound.

While the driver was stopped, her husband drove by and stopped to check on her. According to the release, officers detected a strong odor of alcohol on him as well, and he was asked to provide breath samples. As a result of those samples, he was issued a three-day immediate roadside prohibition with a three-day vehicle impound. The couple was only a short distance away from their home.

“Impaired driving is not a victimless crime and continues to be the number one cause of vehicular-related death,” Anderson said.

“Do the smart thing and drive responsibly. Don’t put other motorists and yourselves at risk. Drive smart and sober during the holiday season and always.”

Police remind residents to take transit, a taxi or utilize a dial-a-driver service if they have been drinking this holiday season.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

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