CounterAttack takes aim at impaired drivers

Saanich Police say drivers can encounter road checks anywhere, any time

Sgt. Steve Eassie and the Saanich Police are once again partnering with ICBC for the annual CounterAttack program to crack down on driving under the influence throughout the holiday season.

ICBC and Saanich Police are reminding holiday party-goers there’s no excuse for driving impaired.

The provincial insurance corporation has once again partnered with police departments province-wide, including Saanich Police, to deliver the CounterAttack road checks in December.

“This time of year CounterAttacks can be anywhere, anytime. People can expect to see officers out and about,” said Saanich Police Sgt. Steve Eassie.

He said the road checks are well received by the driving public, with many eager to share their commitment to safety.

“People are proud that they’ve got a designated driver. We actually get people who are excited because there isn’t always a road check to show us that they’ve planned a safe ride. They’re to be commended for that.”

Despite the success of CounterAttack over the past two decades approximately 27 per cent of car crash fatalities are still related to impaired driving, according to ICBC.

Because of CounterAttack, Saanich Police has seen a reduction in the instances of impaired driving.

Saanich Police has also combined with VicPD and the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit for the ninth annual “Light Up the Highway,” a program that stretches the length of Vancouver Island and aims to remove impaired drivers from the road during the holiday season.

“It’s also important that would-be drivers remember all roadside impaired driving chargers begin as criminal charges. Even non-criminal tickets can lead to a three, seven or 30-day vehicle impoundment,” Eassie said.

During the month of December Saanich Police will hold road checks at dedicated time periods as well as additional road blocks, with added staffing levels.

“Road checks will turn up virtually anywhere, at anytime, though the majority are late afternoon into early evening, and late evening into the early morning,” Eassie said.

Earlier this year ICBC released some of the top excuses police officers hear at road checks. Some of the top excuses in B.C. are:

* “My girlfriend/boyfriend was too drunk to make it home from the bar, so I’m going to pick her up.”

* “I’m an idiot.”

* “But I have a driver’s licence, no one else had a driver’s licence.”

* “I don’t feel drunk.”

* “I’m only two blocks from home.”

* “Mom told me to bring the truck home.”

 

reporter@saanichnews.com