As the holiday season rapidly approaches, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) and police are urging drivers to plan ahead and get home responsibly after consuming alcohol. Drivers across the province, including in Merritt, will see an increased number of roadchecks in an attempt to detect impaired drivers. Impaired driving takes the lives of 64 people in B.C. on an annual basis.
December’s ‘Counterattack’ campaign is one of two safe driving initiatives that ICBC and police take on annually. Those found to be driving under the influence could face steep fines, license suspensions, vehicle impoundment, or even criminal prosecution. On the other hand, designated drivers identified during Counterattack stops will be rewarded with vouchers for free coffee. Police said the campaign is an important opportunity to spread awareness and build positive partnerships.
“The annual December impaired driving campaign is an important initiative bringing public awareness to the dangers of impaired driving,” said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee.
“This collaboration between the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police members, the Province and ICBC emphasizes how effective partnerships are working to keep our highways and communities safe.”?
Individuals whose holiday festivities involve alcohol should plan ahead to get home safely, added Dubord. Those who consume alcohol should leave their vehicle home, and opt instead for a designated driver, taxi rideshare, or public transportation. On average, 25 people are killed and 360 injured in 600 impaired driving related crashes in the Southern Interior region of B.C. every year.
“If you have consumed alcohol – stay off our roads. If you instead choose to put yourself and others at risk, consider yourself warned: the police are out there with stepped-up enforcement,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety.
For more information on Counterattack, including possible repercussions of impaired driving, visit www.icbc.com.