RCMP officers in B.C. on the lookout for drunk drivers in July - InfoNews

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RCMP officers in B.C. on the lookout for drunk drivers in July

FILE PHOTO - An RCMP Constable holds a breathalyzer test in Surrey, B.C., in this September 24, 2010 photo.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
June 30, 2020 - 11:13 AM

Police officers in B.C. will be on the lookout for drunk drivers this summer as they ramp up efforts to keep roads safe.

July is dedicated to the RCMP Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign and police will be stepping up enforcement as provincial COVID-19 restrictions ease, according an RCMP press release.

The RCMP warns impairment means more than just alcohol, and includes illegal or prescription medication. An average of 67 people are killed each year in B.C. in collisions where impairment was a factor, according to the release.

"Too often our officers are put in the position of having to notify a family that they have lost a loved one due to an impaired driving collision," B.C. RCMP Traffic Services Supt. Holly Turton said in the release.

"We want people to enjoy the summer but we also want people to make good decisions and choose to drive sober every time they get behind the wheel. If you do plan to drink alcohol or consume drugs of any kind, have a designated driver or plan alternate ways home."

Turton noted there will be times — like conducting roadside sobriety tests — when police officers will "encroach on personal space" in order to perform their duties, pointing out that the COVID-19 pandemic does not exempt people from complying with the law.

Drivers will see an increased police presence on B.C. highways throughout the July campaign, and may experience short delays during check stops.

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