If you want to find impaired drivers, you have to get up pretty early.
That’s what the Burnaby RCMP’s traffic enforcement unit did – catching some drivers doing illegal things at 3 a.m. Thursday.
“As part of the Province wide Winter Campaign against drinking and driving our members were out on @CityofBurnaby streets looking for impaired drivers,” Burnaby RCMP tweeted early this morning.
This is what they found:
- One Impaired Driver.
- One refusal to provide a breath sample.
- One possession of cannabis contrary to the act,
Every year, on average, 17 people are killed and 860 are injured in 1,400 impaired-driving related crashes in the Lower Mainland.
“Everyone has a role to play to make B.C. roads safer and we’ll continue to invest in road safety to help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities,” Lindsay Matthews, ICBC vice-president of public affairs, said.
The somewhat-positive news is that while impaired driving remains the leading cause of criminal death in Canada, and is in the top three contributing factors for fatal crashes in the province, B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said the number of impaired drivers on the road appears to be on the decline.
“Research completed a year ago tells us that on the streets of British Columbia less than one in 20 drivers now tests positive for the presence of any alcohol in their system,” he said. “That’s half the number that we saw in 2010 when it was one in 10. Clearly the don’t drink and drive message keeps getting through as new generations take the wheel.”
However, there are still many drivers that aren’t getting the message. Last year, police in B.C. issued 9,100 90-day immediate roadside prohibitions and 520 criminal code convictions to impaired drivers.
Farnworth had a warning for those who choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
“Drinking and driving in this province is not acceptable under any circumstances. We have more police in the road, penalties are stiffer, enforcement is out there,” he said. “It’s summertime. I hope people enjoy themselves this summer but consider yourself warned — if you drink and drive you are going to get caught and you will be punished.”
- With additional reporting by Jessica Kerr, Vancouver Courier