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​Government, ICBC & police team up for impaired driving campaign

CounterAttack roadchecks begin this weekend

June 27, 2019


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

Too many drivers still aren't getting the message – last year, police issued 9,100 90-day immediate roadside prohibitions and 520 criminal code convictions to impaired drivers in B.C. And every year, on average, 68 people are still killed as a result of impaired driving, with 40 per cent of those deaths happening in the summer.*

That's why ICBC, police and government are urging drivers to plan ahead for a safe ride home whenever their summer activities involve alcohol.

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 include 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 and funds CounterAttack enhanced police enforcement with an increased total of $3.4 million towards enhanced traffic enforcement in 2019/20. Learn more facts in ICBC's infographic.

Quotes:

David Eby, Attorney General

"We continue to support enhanced enforcement programs like CounterAttack that identify and remove people from the wheel who put other road users in danger. Drivers should know that tough, immediate sanctions for alcohol- and drug-affected driving remain in place."

Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee

"If you're going out to a party or an event where you'll be drinking, or perhaps smoking marijuana – the advice I always give people is to plan ahead about how you will be getting home safely. Because if the thought of hurting yourself or other innocent people isn't enough to make you think twice, you should know that Summer Counterattack is on now. That means more officers are on BC roads, checking for impaired drivers."

Lindsay Matthews, ICBC Vice-President, Public Affairs

"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. If your summer activities involve alcohol, leave your car at home and plan ahead for a safe ride home."

Regional statistics*: 

  • On average, 17 people are killed and 860 injured in 1,400 impaired driving related crashes in the Lower Mainland every year.

  • On average, 10 people are killed and 330 injured in 550 impaired driving related crashes on Vancouver Island every year.

  • On average, 23 people are killed and 390 injured in 600 impaired driving related crashes in the Southern Interior every year.

  • On average, 19 people are killed and 200 injured in 310 impaired driving related crashes in North Central B.C. every year.

Canada Day statistics**:

  • Each year on Canada Day, one person is killed and 190 injured in 730 crashes in B.C.

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

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

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

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

Editor's note:

Lower Mainland media are invited to attend an evening CounterAttack roadcheck on Friday, June 28 in Vancouver. Please call ICBC's Joanne Bergman at 604-314-3138 on Friday after 9pm for the location. 

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:

*Injuries and crashes are police data, five-year average 2014 to 2018. Fatal victim counts are police data, five-year average 2013 to 2017. 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 Wilkins

604-982-4759