Along with holiday cheer comes holiday beers, festive drinking, offices parties and an increased level of alcohol consumption.
With such a thing on the rise, so is the level of RCMP enforcement, road stop-checks and unfortunately, the number of driving under the influence charges that will he handed out as well.
Since British Columbia’s relatively new zero-tolerance drinking and driving legislation, getting behind the wheel after enjoying a few alcoholic beverages is no joke said Lake Cowichan RCMP corporal, Warren Potter. Last holiday season, Lake Cowichan RCMP handed out 30 impaired driving charges, a number Potter is challenging the area to vastly improve upon this Christmas.
Potter and his colleagues will be upping their presence in the community and on the road in the coming weeks.
“We try to get out as often as we can during the Christmas and holiday season to conduct the road checks to ensure the public’s safety.” he said.
Potter said stop-checks will not only be set up on weekends, but also during the week. He further noted that Duncan and Ladysmith’s RCMP detachments will be aiding Lake Cowichan in the holiday blitz aiming to crack down on drunk drivers as well.
Recently the British Columbia government’s announced a 40% drop in alcohol-related motor deaths in the past year the new drinking and driving legislation has been enacted. According to the Government of British Columbia’s website, this figure equates to having saved 45 lives. Potter is overly pleased with this statistic.
“It’s a very good thing to get out there,” said Potter in reference to the new statistic.
Potter thinks walking, calling a sober friend or family member for a ride or calling the local taxi is the public’s best bet at combatting a problem that has taken so many British Columbian and Canadian lives.
“I encourage people to not drink and drive and plan accordingly. Always plan for rides home,” he added.