White Rock and Surrey RCMP – along with police forces across the province – have launched their holiday CounterAttack campaigns. (File photo)

White Rock and Surrey RCMP – along with police forces across the province – have launched their holiday CounterAttack campaigns. (File photo)

White Rock, Surrey RCMP CounterAttack campaigns underway

Enforcement ramps up to remove impaired drivers from cities’ roadways

Seasonal gatherings and outings may be on hold, but local police are not skimping on an annual campaign targeting impaired drivers.

“While the pandemic may have changed society’s social gatherings and routines, one thing it has not changed is our zero tolerance for impaired driving,” White Rock RCMP Const. Chantal Sears said in a news release.

“We understand we are in unprecedented times and the stresses are different this year. We are asking for gatherings to be virtual, and should you use alcohol, cannabis or recreational street drugs, please do so at home and stay home.”

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White Rock officers – as with their counterparts across the province, including in Surrey – will be conducting random roadblocks throughout December, with additional officers on duty, the release notes.

As well, additional drug-recognition experts will be on shift, removing drivers who are impaired by drugs, including cannabis.

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu noted that it is not only dedicated traffic officers who are on the lookout.

As example, she pointed to an incident Nov. 23, in which members of the detachment’s Gang Enforcement Team issued a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition to the driver of a semi, having noticed signs of impairment after pulling the vehicle over for a traffic violation.

Left unchecked, “the potential damage… could have been devastating,” Sidhu said.

The semi was also impounded for 30 days, she added.

Officers conducting enforcement will be following COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing masks and sanitizing equipment after usage.

According to information on the B.C. government website, CounterAttack campaigns have been running in B.C. for more than 35 years.

Police detachments across the province will be implementing enforcement plans throughout December, “and motorists can expect to see a heightened police presence targeting impaired drivers during December and beyond,” a news release issued Tuesday (Dec. 1) advises.

According to ICBC, an average of 17 people are killed every year in the Lower Mainland in crashes involving impaired driving; 16- to 25-year-olds account for 25 per cent of impaired drivers in crashes; and, 69 per cent of all impaired drivers are male.

Those caught driving impaired could face hefty penalties, ranging from driving suspensions and fines to jail time.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
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Members of Surrey’s Gang Enforcement Team pulled over a semi for a traffic violation Nov. 23, a stop that evolved into an impaired-driving investigation. (Surrey RCMP photo)

Members of Surrey’s Gang Enforcement Team pulled over a semi for a traffic violation Nov. 23, a stop that evolved into an impaired-driving investigation. (Surrey RCMP photo)