RCMP gear up for December impaired driving enforcement campaign

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Motorists can expect to see a heightened police presence targeting impaired drivers throughout the month of December.

Police will be especially on the lookout for impaired drivers tomorrow (Dec. 4) to mark National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day, according to an RCMP media release.

“We want everyone to have a great evening but more importantly, we want everyone to arrive home safely. Don’t allow yourself to become a statistic. Make good choices,” said Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Sixty-five people die, on average, across B.C. each year as a result of impaired driving, according to ICBC statistics — including 11 on Vancouver Island.

Nanaimo RCMP, in conjunction with McDonald’s restaurants, will acknowledge sober and designated drivers by presenting them with coffee coupons this year. 

“Don’t be surprised if on Saturday, Dec. 4 an officer at a road check hands you a gift certificate for driving sober. It may be a small gesture but it is one way to say thank you for choosing to drive sober,” reads the Nanaimo RCMP release.

Officers with the Nanaimo Municipal Traffic Unit will be out all night Dec. 4, conducting roving patrols throughout the city.

RCMP suggest arranging a ride in advance, planning for a taxi ride home, car pooling with a designated driver or walking, if not far from home.

The Criminal Code of Canada prohibits anyone from operating a motor vehicle if their blood/alcohol concentration is over .08. 

B.C. laws also prohibit operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. A roadside breathalyzer test of over .05 blood/alcohol concentration can result in a person losing their driving privileges for 72 hours.

Failing or refusing to submit to a breath-test or drug evaluation carries the same Criminal Code of Canada penalties as impaired driving. Anyone who provides a breath test over .08 or refuses may be subject to a 90-day driving prohibition regardless of whether they are subsequently charged or convicted of impaired driving.

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