KELOWNA, B.C. – A ceremony was held Tuesday to recognize the work of 84 RCMP officers from around the B.C. Southern Interior for arresting impaired drivers.
They have been named to Alexa’s Team, named after a 4-year-old Surrey girl who was killed by a drunk driver in 2008.
To be a member of Alexa’s Team, an officer must arrest more than 12 impaired drivers in a year.
Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s mom shook each officers hand and thanked them for their dedication to making B.C. roads safer.
Middelaer believes a shift has taken place in the attitude of British Columbians since Alexa’s death.
“It’s like second hand smoke or seat belts: that no longer will be an issue,” says Middelaer. “It’s just not something that we do in this province, is drink and drive.”
The B.C. Ministry of Justice says alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths have been reduced by 52% in the last five years.
The reduction is attributed to change to the laws around impaired driving and the efforts of Alexa’s Team.
“To me, they’re rock stars,” says Middelaer. “These are the real hero’s because day in and day out they are the ones keeping our roads safe. And it is a thankless job.”