There was no shortage of RCMP-staffed roadblocks throughout B.C. during the 2012 holiday CounterAttack campaign, but police officers found fewer impaired drivers than in previous years.
A similar trend was apparent in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, said Ridge Meadows RCMP Sgt. Dale Somerville.
In December 2012 Ridge Meadows RCMP traffic services handed out a total of 20 impaired-related charges – eight less than the 28 given out in December 2011.
The 20 impaired-related charges in the Ridge Meadows RCMP jurisdiction broke down as follows:
• one criminal code impaired driving charge
• five 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibitions (IRP)
• five 3-day IRP
• one 7-day IRP (this was someone who had already had a previous 3 day IRP)
• five 24-hour prohibitions
• three 12-hour prohibitions
"The police were provided with this new legislation and penalties to help us deal with drinking and driving immediately," Somerville said.
"This legislation is very successful in keeping motorists safe, and helping police quickly identify and deal with drunk drivers in an appropriate manner," added the traffic sergeant.
RCMP throughout B.C. laid 961 impaired-related charges from Dec. 2, to Jan. 2, compare to 1,434 for the same period last year.
"There’s been very good media coverage of the new impaired driving legislation and penalties, and I think that’s helped people make better choices," said Cpl. Robert McDonald, speaking on behalf of the provincial RCMP traffic services.
The following are B.C.-wide numbers for the 2012 CounterAttack campaign:
• 272 3-days Immediate Road Prohibition (IRP)
• six 7-days IRP
• 348 90-days IRP
• 47 IRP Refusal
• 34 Criminal Code Impaired Driving charges
• 54 New Driver 12-hour suspensions
• 57 24-hour suspensions
• 135 Drug-related 24hour Suspensions
• eight Drug Criminal Code Impaired Driving charges.