The Merritt Herald sat down with Sgt. Josh Roda, the Merritt RCMP’s acting detachment commander, to discuss the start of our month-long campaign against impaired driving. Arrive alive this holiday season, plan ahead for a ride home, call a taxi, and leave your vehicle at home. 

According to MADD’s 2021 report, Provincial Short-Term Alcohol and Drug-Related Suspensions & Federal Impaired Driving Charges, a total of 25,632 charges and license suspension related to impaired driving were laid in B.C. in 2019. It’s important to know your limit, and make a plan to get home safely. 

Q: What are some of the dangers of impaired driving? 

A: “If anybody has ever been impaired, your reflexes are slower and you don’t make good decisions. Alcohol just affects our bodies in a way that, when we put ourselves behind the wheel of a vehicle that weighs thousands and thousands of pounds, it’s not a good thing.”

Q: What are some of the legal consequences of impaired driving? 

A: “You can be charged under the Criminal Code of Canada, or you can be charged through an Immediate Roadside Prohibition under the Province of BC. There’s different penalties, whereas you can lose your license for 3 days and your vehicle for 3 days. You can lose your license for 30 or 90 days, the penalties range greatly.”

Q: How prevalent is the issue of impaired driving in the Nicola Valley?

A: “Impaired driving is prevalent anywhere, unfortunately. It’s amazing that, with all the messaging as long as I’ve been alive about impaired driving being bad, people are still doing it. We do still see people drinking and then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. It’s dangerous.”  

Q: What’s a step Merrittonians can take to mitigate their risk of impaired driving? 

A: “If you’re planning to go out for dinner and you’re drinking, sometimes it’s best just to leave your vehicle at home and catch a ride or even take a taxi. Then you don’t have the option to drive afterwards. “

For more information and resources on impaired driving, including possible repercussions, visit