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​ICBC and police team up for impaired driving campaign

June 28, 2018

CounterAttack roadchecks begin July 1st.

Starting this Canada Day long weekend, police are stepping up their enforcement of impaired drivers at CounterAttack roadchecks across the province.

Every year in B.C., 65 people die in crashes involving impaired driving. That's why ICBC and police are urging drivers to plan ahead for a safe ride home whenever your summer activities involve alcohol.

On Canada Day, on average, one person is killed and 190 are injured in 730 crashes across the province.

While much progress has been made, impaired driving remains the leading cause of criminal death in Canada and in the top three contributing factors for fatal crashes in B.C. With many options available – like arranging a designated driver, calling a taxi or taking transit – there's no excuse to drive impaired.

If you're hosting a celebration this summer and plan to serve alcohol, get an ICBC special event permit kit for free on icbc.com. It's also available when you apply for an event liquor permit on BCLiquorStores.com. The kits includes items to encourage designated drivers to stay sober and for guests to find a safe ride home.

ICBC supports two impaired driving education campaigns every year as well as funding for CounterAttack enhanced police enforcement. Learn more facts in ICBC's infographic.

Quotes:

"We continue to support enhanced enforcement programs like CounterAttack that identify and remove from the wheel those who put other road users in danger," said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. "Drivers should know that tough, immediate sanctions for alcohol- and drug-affected driving remain in place and will only get tougher with the federal legalization of non-medical cannabis later this year."

"Driving while impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is never worth the risk," said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. "Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or arrest are significant and can last a lifetime. Police are out on B.C. roads looking for impaired drivers at CounterAttack roadchecks this summer."

"Everyone has a role to play to make B.C. roads safer and we'll continue to invest in road safety to help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities," said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC's acting vice-president responsible for road safety. "If your summer activities involve alcohol, leave your car at home and plan ahead for a safe ride home."

Regional statistics*:

  • In the Lower Mainland, an average of 16 people are killed in impaired-related crashes every year.

  • On Vancouver Island, an average of nine people are killed in impaired-related crashes every year.

  • In the Southern Interior, an average of 22 people are killed in impaired-related crashes every year.

  • In North Central B.C., an average of 20 people are killed in impaired-related crashes every year.

Canada Day statistics**:

  • On Canada Day, on average, one person is killed and 190 are injured in 730 crashes in B.C.

  • Each year, on average, 140 people are injured in 460 crashes in the Lower Mainland on Canada Day.

  • Each year, on average, 21 people are injured in 100 crashes on Vancouver Island on Canada Day.

  • Each year, on average, 25 people are injured in 120 crashes in the Southern Interior on Canada Day.

  • Each year, on average, seven people are injured in 44 crashes in the North Central region on Canada Day.

Editor's notes:

B-roll footage of a CounterAttack roadcheck is available for download.

Lower Mainland media are invited to attend an evening CounterAttack roadcheck on Saturday, June 30 in Surrey; police will issue a media advisory with more details. Several police detachments throughout B.C. will also invite media to attend CounterAttack roadchecks in their communities over the long weekend.

Notes about the data:

*Fatal victim counts are from police data (2012 to 2016). Impaired is defined to include alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines.

**Canada Day is calculated from 00:00 to midnight and includes incidents where the time was not reported. Based on five year average. Injured victim and crash data from ICBC data (2013 to 2017) and fatal victims from police data (2012 to 2016).

Media contact:

Lindsay Olsen
604-982-4759