Ridge Meadows RCMP caught 80 impaired drivers during the month of June and police are worried about numbers increasing as the summer driving season gets underway.
The provincial summer impaired driving campaign starts in July and the Ridge Meadows RCMP say that the June figures are alarming with more families hitting the road for summer vacation.
This is an 82 per cent increase from May when police caught 44 impaired drivers, said Ridge Meadows RCMP Const. Julie Klaussner.
“For the first six months of this year we have removed 226 impaired drivers, while last year in the first six months we had 165. This is an increase of 37 per cent,” added Klaussner.
Police attribute the success of the impaired driving enforcement campaign to Project Domino Effect, a local initiative that resulted in 553 impaired driving investigations in 2019.
This past Sunday police did notice more vehicles parked overnight in the parking lots of restaurants and pubs, noted Klaussner.
She believes this suggests that there are people making the right decision to find a safe ride home.
However, the numbers indicate that many more people are, “not choosing to be responsible citizens,” she said.
As a result of the June impaired driving enforcement results, three more Ridge Meadows constables have qualified for Alexa’s team, a program that recognizes police officers who complete 12 impaired driving investigations in a year.
The team is named in honour of four-year-old Alexa Middelaer, who was killed by an impaired driver in 2008.
“These are our family and friends who are getting hurt or killed by someone who has made the decision to drive while impaired. It is concerning people still think this is OK,” said Supt. Jennifer Hyland with the Ridge Meadows RCMP, congratulating the officers for their work in removing impaired drivers from the road and making Alexa’s team.
“Unfortunately, this is a bittersweet accolade as it simply means more people are driving while impaired,” said Hyland.