Checkstop season is upon us

There will be an increased awareness by police and increased check stops to check for impaired drivers

  • Dec. 6, 2012 5:00 p.m.

Carolyn Grant

While Christmas day is still several weeks away, the Christmas season itself is upon us. That means office parties and visiting friends and neighbours.

That also means there will be an increased awareness by police and increased check stops to check for impaired drivers.

BC has tough impaired driving laws and stats do indicate that has saved lives.

The province estimates 104 lives have been saved since the immediate roadside prohibition (IRP) system took effect in September 2010.

There are peak times when RCMP focus on impaired driving, such as long weekends and the Christmas season, though it is on the minds of members at all times.

“RCMP conduct road checks throughout the year.  The focus of these checks is impaired drivers although we look for other infractions and offences as well,” said Cpl. Chris Newel of the Kimberley RCMP.

“During the festive season more road checks are used to  increase awareness so everybody can enjoy a safe and enjoyable holiday.”

This December marks the 35th anniversary of the CounterAttack program and ICBC is once again supporting its police partners in the prevention of impaired driving during the holiday season.

ICBC reports that despite tougher laws and the annual CounterAttack program seeing reductions in impaired-related crashes, drinking and driving is still the leading criminal cause of death and remains one of the leading causes of fatal collisions.

The CounterAttack campaign reminds the public to plan ahead during holiday celebrations and choose a safe way home.

Plan your safe ride home before you start drinking. If you’re going to drink, make the smart choice: choose a designated driver before going out.

Use other safe alternatives to get home safely: call a taxi, take transit, use a shuttle service, or call a sober friend.

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