Counter-attack numbers evidence of shift in drinking driving attitudes, Saanich police say

  • Jan. 19, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Saanich police are heralding the new drunk driving laws as the reason behind the relatively uneventful counter-attack season through the 2010 holidays.

Countless roadblocks set up through the municipality saw more than 10,000 drivers checked, but only a relatively few needed closer examination.

Thirty-two breathalyzers were administered by Saanich officers, resulting in 28 passes. One driver failed and four received three-day suspensions.

“We’re pleased with the results. We’re very pleased with the public appearing to change their habits,” Sgt. Dean Jantzen said.

He said officers saw a huge influx in the number of designated drivers, passengers using public transit, and taxis heading through the municipality. “It should be noted the public was very supportive of the counter-attack season this year.”

In addition to the MVA breaches, the program resulted in three suspensions for drugs, 28 violation tickets, 99 warning tickets and one vehicle being impounded.

As well, between Nov. 19 and Jan. 3, Saanich patrol officers issued 10 impaired driving charges.

“A few years back we could give out 20 (drinking and driving tickets) in a night,” Jantzen said. “It is my belief that people are starting to get the message.”

VicPD has also seen a dramaticdencrease in drunk drivers passing through roadblocks.

Sgt. Grant Hamilton said officers tested 13 drivers who were above the 0.08 blood alcohol level in December.

“That’s just a change in people’s behaviour. People are like, ‘this new driving legislation, I don’t want to take a risk anymore,’” Hamilton said.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

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