The Kelowna RCMP kicked off its annual Counter Attack campaign to remind drivers of the dangers and consequences of driving under the influence.
RCMP set up a roadblock on Lakeshore Road on Saturday night, the first of the campaign, which runs through the month of December.
“It’s almost cliché that we spend millions of dollars on advertising, and all the public awareness is there, everybody knows that you’re not supposed to drink and drive, yet daily we encounter people that keep rolling the dice and we catch them,” said BC Highway Patrol Const. James Ward.
According to Const. Ward, the RCMP sees an increase in intoxicated driving around the holiday season. In less than an hour, RCMP had already pulled over a dozen vehicles during Saturday’s roadblock.
The fines and consequences for driving impaired vary per case. Fines can range from $500 to $15,000 or $20,000 in court fees.
“Starting at a 12-hour driving prohibition for a novice driver that has any indication of alcohol in their system. Then we go to a 24-hour prohibition and that’s more common for a drug impaired (driver). And those may or may not involve an impound of the vehicle,” said Const. Ward.
He added that drivers who’ve already had an immediate roadside prohibition and are caught driving while impaired again may receive criminal code charges.
“That will result in an administrative driving prohibition and criminal court proceedings,” said Const. Ward.
RCMP are reminding anyone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol to find a safe ride home, including calling a taxi, family or friend, or walking or taking the bus.