Mike Morris, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General teamed up with ICBC and Prince George RCMP today, to remind motorists that there is never an excuse to drive while affected by alcohol or drugs and to plan ahead this holiday season.
“Having fun and being festive is encouraged but risking lives doing it won’t be tolerated,” said Morris. “If you think you might indulge in a few spirits over the holidays, plan ahead and organize a safe way home – if you don’t, the penalties are severe and the consequences can be deadly.”
On Dec. 1, the Province, ICBC, and police launched the annual winter CounterAttack campaign, which sets up road checks throughout the province all December long to screen for alcohol and drug affected drivers. Anybody caught drinking and driving will be subject to an Immediate Roadside Prohibition, including vehicle impoundments and penalties costing at least $2,400.
While much progress has been made in recent years, impaired driving is still one of the top three contributing factors for fatal crashes in B.C. costing 66 people their lives each year.
“The Prince George detachment is committed to improving public safety,” said Supt. Warren Brown, officer in charge of the Prince George RCMP. “One way we can do that is by targeting and apprehending impaired drivers. We will continue to put resources towards ridding our roads of impaired drivers for the betterment of our community.”
Government and ICBC are helping to prevent impaired driving this holiday season with an education campaign, funding for CounterAttack road checks and get-home-safe promotion with businesses, sports facilities and community groups. Police CounterAttack overtime funding has also doubled this year to make sure everyone gets the message and that alcohol-affected drivers are taken off B.C. roads.
Crashes due to drinking and driving are preventable. If your holiday festivities involve alcohol, make a plan before heading out. Arrange for a designated driver or use other options to get home safely – take transit, call a taxi or call a friend.
You can also call Operation Red Nose at 1 877 604-NOSE or locally in Prince George at 250 962-7433 (RIDE). Operation Red Nose is a volunteer service that provides safe rides to drivers and their passengers who are impaired or too tired to drive home during the holiday season.
For holiday season driving tips and more on the CounterAttack campaign, visit: www.icbc.com
For more information about Immediate Roadside Prohibition penalties, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/driving-and-transportation/driving/publications/immediate-roadside-prohibition-penalties.pdf
For more information about Operation Red Nose, visit: http://www.icbc.com/road-safety/community/Pages/Operation-Red-Nose.aspx
Or follow on twitter: @ORNose