Saanich police set up roadblocks to catch drunk drivers during the holiday CounterAttack campaign. (Saanich Police/Twitter)

Don’t wreck your holidays: Saanich police warn of weekend roadblocks during CounterAttack campaign

Impaired driving causes an average of 68 deaths each year in B.C.

Saanich police kicked off the first weekend of December by hunting down impaired drivers.

Roadblocks were in full effect throughout Saanich on Friday night as part of the month-long CounterAttack impaired driving campaign – a collaboration between police across B.C., ICBC and the provincial government.

The campaign encourages drivers to plan ahead and find a safe ride home to keep themselves and other road users safe over the holidays. Police recommend having a designated driver, calling a taxi, using transit or relying on Operation Red Nose which is available on Friday and Saturday nights and on New Year’s Eve.

READ ALSO: Drivers flee VicPD’s first impaired driving roadblocks of December

According to ICBC, impaired driving causes an average of 68 deaths each year in B.C. – about 10 on the Island – making it the leading cause of fatal car crashes. More than half of crashes caused by impaired drivers take place between Friday and Sunday.

In an effort to avoid further crashes, police across B.C. have agreed to set up weekend roadblocks to promote road safety and catch those driving drunk or high.

Saanich police say roadblocks will go up throughout the District on weekend nights in December. Locations will vary by weekend and may not remain in the same area all night. Officers at the roadblocks will be identifying those driving drunk and high. At least one trained drug recognition expert will attend each Saanich roadblock to detect those under the influence of drugs.

READ ALSO: Semi truck impounded after driver avoids weight scales in Saanich

For more than 40 years, ICBC has funded CounterAttack and impaired-driving education programs. The goal is to make sure everyone can safely enjoy the holidays, said Lindsay Matthews, vice-president of public affairs and driver licensing for ICBC.

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnsworth noted that while most people understand that driving doesn’t mix well with alcohol or drugs, others are still “willing to take a chance.”

“CounterAttack makes intercepting those people job number one,” Farnsworth said.


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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