Annual CounterAttack program underway in B.C.

The CounterAttack campaign is a yearly reminder for drivers to be responsible and plan a safe ride home. ICBC

Police officers throughout the province will be out in force on Saturday, looking for impaired drivers.

National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day is Dec. 2, and members of local detachments plus crews from B.C. Highway Patrol will be conducting CounterAttack operations not only this weekend but throughout the month.

“Getting together with friends and family this time of year to celebrate is something we all look forward to,” said Const. Chris Terleski of Vernon North Okanagan RCMP.

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“Enjoy yourself and have a good time, but please do it responsibly. Impaired driving, whether by alcohol or other drugs, can have deadly consequences and there is zero tolerance for those who choose to put themselves and others at risk.”

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Residents throughout the province can expect to see an increased police presence on roadways during the next four weeks.

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“Officers will be conducting check stops, mandatory alcohol screening, standardized field sobriety tests, and using drug recognition experts to identify and target impaired drivers,” said the RCMP.

Police note that while 0.08 is the legal blood-alcohol limit, they said a motorist can lose their driving privileges if they reach 0.05.

“If the breath test results are over 0.05, or you are deemed to be impaired by a qualified assessing officer, you will be prohibited from driving for 72 hours,” said they RCMP.

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They also noted that it’s also illegal to consume alcohol in a public place or in a vehicle.

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According to the province “a major part of CounterAttack is getting the message out that B.C.’s impaired driving laws are tough, impose harsh penalties on impaired drivers and make it likely impaired drivers will be identified and removed from B.C.’s roads.”

“Tragically, too many people are injured or killed in preventable alcohol and drug-related collisions every year,” said Terleski. “Keeping our roads safe is a shared responsibility and it starts by making good choices before you get behind the wheel. If you are going to drink alcohol or consume cannabis, don’t drive and arrange in advance for a safe ride.”

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