January 2, 2019 11:12 pm
Updated: January 3, 2019 11:11 am

Surrey RCMP ‘happily surprised’ as NYE road checks net no criminally impaired drivers

Police in British Columbia perform road checks.

Global News
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Police in Surrey say they’re heartened by a New Year’s Eve that saw no drivers busted for criminal impairment at road checks.

Surrey RCMP officers set up roadblocks in Newton and Guildford on Dec. 31 and into the morning of Jan. 1.

READ MORE: CounterAttack: Police launch holiday season impaired driving crackdown

But spokesperson Sgt. Chad Grieg said despite stopping hundreds of motorists Mounties had no drivers fail a breathalyzer test.

“We had no criminal impaired investigations or charges this year,” said Grieg.

“Surprised? I am, happily surprised.”

READ MORE: No spike in cannabis-impaired driving one month after legalization, data shows

That didn’t mean drivers were perfect. Greig said police issued four immediate roadside prohibitions (IRPs), handed out various violation tickets and caught one driver who was behind the wheel while prohibited.

WATCH: Criminal and civil consequences of cannabis-impaired driving


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Police can issue three-day, seven-day and 30-day IRPs if a driver blows “warn” (a blood alcohol content level of at least 0.05) on a breathalyzer. Drivers who blow 0.08 or higher fail a test and in addition to getting a suspension can be criminally charged.

Grieg said the low numbers suggested people were getting the message about impaired driving and were opting for alternatives such as taxis, public transit and designated drivers.

READ MORE: Here are the challenges police could face in laying charges for pot-impaired driving

“I think it’s people understanding it’s not just their safety, it’s the safety of other people on the road,” he said.

Grieg added that drivers were also generally well behaved on the weekend leading up to the big event.

He said road checks on Saturday and Sunday resulted in six IRPs and three vehicles impounded.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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