Sooke News Mirror reporter Sharron Ho went on a ride-along with the RCMP.

Riding along with the RCMP

Sooke News Mirror reporter Sharron Ho saw what happens at a road block

Increased road blocks in the region for the month of December have revealed that residents were drinking and driving responsibly.

According to Staff Sgt. Steve Wright, the Sooke RCMP increased the number of road blocks in the region between Dec. 1 to 31.

A total of eight operational reports were filed for road blocks in December by the detachment. The number of road blocks, however, may be more.

The efforts of Sooke RCMP resulted in three criminal impaired driving charges and three immediate roadside prohibitions — very low numbers, according to Wright.

“Starting Dec. 1, we stepped up the number of road blocks and the message is getting through,” he said.

“The visual of people going through road blocks has had a good impact. People are being more responsible in terms of getting designated drivers, and there are liquor establishments in the community that offer limousine services for their patrons, which is wonderful.”

The holiday season was also free from serious injury accidents, and alcohol related crashes.

“The message was obviously loud and clear,” Wright said.

Ride-a-long:

On the evening of Dec. 21, the Sooke News Mirror’s Sharron Ho tagged along with the RCMP for a ride-a-long and road block in East Sooke. This was her experience.

Sitting passenger side to Const. Reid Miller, the evening began doing a typical patrol, with Miller scanning the road for speeders, dangerous driving and suspicious behaviour.

Miller stated one of the thrilling aspects of being a police officer is never knowing what could happen during a 10-hour shift.

He is in constant contact with other police officers on duty, as well as regular contact with dispatch.

Later, Miller joined other officers who were performing a road block on East Sooke and Gillepsie Roads.

Officers stopped cars, inquiring whether or not drivers had anything to drink that evening, checking the vehicles’ rear view lights, status of car insurance, and viewing the contents inside vehicles.

Miller said there are a variety of signs, which when combined, can be telling of whether or not a person is inebriated. He listed watery, red eyes, the odour of alcohol, fumbling with a wallet, slurred speech and overall sluggish movement.

Miller said road block locations are selected based on safety for cops and the public, and areas likely to be driven by the impaired.

“We try not to be a nuisance to the public, while making sure everyone is safe,” he added.

All drivers who were checked during the half-hour East Sooke road block were sober.

Police officers held two other road blocks that evening, on the 1700-block of West Coast Road and on Sooke Road. Neither resulted in nabbing a drunk driver.

What happens if you are impaired:

According to ICBC, police in B.C. can issue an immediate roadside prohibition to an impaired driver with a blood alcohol content of .05 or higher, based on a breath sample from a roadside screening device.

The vehicle can also be immediately taken off the road and impounded for three to 30 days.

Related costs for these offences can be between $600 to $4,060. This is without taking into consideration the cost of a lawyer. There are also costs ($3,750 approx.) associated with getting and maintaining an ignition interlock device which may be placed in a vehicle, if convicted in court.

For further details on drinking and driving suspensions and prohibitions, visit: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/osmv/prohibitions/impaired-driving.htm#irp

Just Posted

Sooke’s ‘Stonehenge’ gets a rocky reception

Structure intended to accommodate memorial plaques

Sooke district under fire for zoning debacle

Saseenos Veterinary Clinic may have to pay twice for rezoning

Colwood square dancing open house to welcome in new dancers

“It’s therapy,” said long-time square dancer Linda Townsend

Green candidate expects a tight race in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke

David Merner says Green Party would act as “strong moral conscience” in a minority Parliament

Tour Government House and other homes, enjoy art along the way

The Art Gallery’s 66th annual House Tour features artists at work, artistic floral displays

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Nanaimo company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

Most Read