Members of Ridge Meadows RCMP Alexa’s Team

Members of Ridge Meadows RCMP Alexa’s Team

Keeping drunk drivers off B.C. roads

Seven officers nabbed 265 impaired drivers in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows in 2012

  • Apr. 10, 2013 10:00 a.m.

Ridge Meadows Mounties who took more than 200 drunk drivers off the road in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows last year have been honoured as members of Alexa’s Team.

On Thursday, the BCAA Road Safety Foundation, ICBC and the Middelaer family thanked the seven police officers for being among the top impaired driving investigators in the province.

The Ridge Meadows RCMP officers took a total of 265 impaired drivers off the road in 2012.

The hard-working officers and strict drunk driving laws are being credited for a dramatic decline in impaired driving across B.C., where from impaired driving fatalities dropped from 126 in 2010 to 73 in 2011.

Preliminary data for 2012 shows a historic low of 59.

Preliminary RCMP data for 2012 also indicates that the number of impaired drivers on the road has significantly decreased with fewer drivers being charged.

Combined with the reduction in fatalities, the data suggests that public attitudes and behaviours are changing significantly when it comes to impaired driving.

“The recent drop in impaired-related motor vehicle fatalities is the good news story,” said Insp. Ted Emanuels, the officer in charge of the RCMP’s Lower Mainland District Traffic Services.

“In 2011 and 2012, 120 people were not killed by impaired driving and 120 families were not devastated for life.”

Alexa’s Team formed in memory of Alexa Middelaer, who was killed by an drunk driver in Ladner when she was only four years old.

The team has grown over the past five years from 26 members to more than 1,000.

“As a family, we are heartened to see that there has been a significant decrease in the number of people injured and killed by impaired drivers over this past year,” said Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s mother.

“We know that the members of Alexa’s Team have served unwaveringly to make our communities safer. Improving public safety is a tangible difference that we can make to honour those who suffered loss on our roads.”

Since 2008, Alexa’s Team members have processed 41,354 impaired driving charges or penalties against drivers in violation of B.C.’s impaired driving laws.

To be nominated for Alexa’s Team, police officers must have removed at least 12 impaired drivers from the road in the previous calendar year through a criminal charge investigation (for alcohol or drug impairment) or through an administrative driving prohibition (90-day immediate roadside prohibition or 90-day administrative driving prohibition).