‘We’re going to be everywhere’

RCMP poised for blitz on impaired driving on Saturday, Dec. 7.

In the midst of a nationwide focus on impaired driving, Cranbrook and Kimberley cops are conducting a blitz Saturday, Dec. 7.

“Our commissioner this year has made stopping drinking driving a priority. To this end, there will be a national campaign or blitz held on Dec. 7. Members of detachments and traffic service members throughout the country will be out on the roads, specifically targeting impaired driving,” said Sgt. Don Erichsen of East Kootenay Traffic Services.

“The big message is that everyone has the right to get home safely, and a small decision can have great consequences. Let’s make the right choices in order to prevent accidents and ensure everybody has a merry holiday.”

There will be additional RCMP officers on Cranbrook and Kimberley’s roads on Saturday during the combined effort of Traffic Services and Cranbrook and Kimberley RCMP.

Alcohol affects people in different ways. Factors such as diet, fatigue, and prescription drugs can change how alcohol affects an individual. It is possible to be considered impaired even if you have a blood alcohol content below 0.08.

Driving after using drugs, even prescription drugs, is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Trained drug recognition experts can determine that you’re under the influence of a drug and you can be charged with drug-impaired driving.

Sgt. Erichsen said RCMP are changing the way they conduct road blitzes to adapt to the age of social media.

“Your typical roadblock – which has been the thing people have seen over the past 20 years or so – is losing effectiveness because as soon as the first couple of people go through, the social media takes over and everybody knows where we are,” he said.

“There will be more roving patrols and short term road checks set up.

“Basically, we are going to be everywhere.”

Throughout the holiday season, RCMP will be watching closely for impaired drivers during this campaign, which began on Nov. 27 and runs until Jan. 2.

“It’s to raise awareness to the problem in general. Impaired driving continues to be a problem that costs people their lives or serious injuries and effects people’s livelihoods and the ability for families to continue to make ends meet,” said Sgt. Erichsen.

“On December 7 in particular, we are increasing our numbers in order to make a statement and drive home the point that we need to be safe and responsible despite the fact that it is the festive season.”