CounterAttack campaigns kick off Canada Day

Drivers have plenty of excuses why they chose to drive after drinking.

During the summer months, one person is killed every three days in impaired-related crashes in B.C. That’s why the B.C. government, ICBC and police will be kicking off the CounterAttack campaign on July 1.

No matter the event or location, arrange a designated driver, call a taxi or take transit. Police will be looking for impaired drivers at CounterAttack roadchecks across the province.

“We’ve seen significant reductions in alcohol-related fatalities in B.C. since we introduced tougher legislation – and in addition, we have hundreds of officers trained to assess drug impairment and remove drugged drivers from our roads immediately,” said Suzanne Anton, attorney general and minister of justice. “But some people still aren’t taking the issue seriously. That’s why we’ll continue to support enhanced enforcement to intercept those who put other road users in danger.”

With so many options to get home safely, there is no excuse to drive while impaired. But some drivers still aren’t getting the message – here are the top excuses given by impaired drivers to police at CounterAttack roadchecks:

• “My girlfriend was too drunk to make it home from the bar, so I’m going to pick her up.”

• “I’m an idiot!”

• “But I have a driver’s licence, no one else had a driver’s licence!”

• “I don’t feel drunk!”

• “I’m only two blocks from home.”

• “Mom told me to bring the truck home.”

• “I had to pick up my husband.”

ICBC supports CounterAttack with funding for enhanced police enforcement and an education campaign which promotes the use of designated drivers.

“Too many families are suffering from the tragic loss of a loved one in an impaired related crash,” said Todd Stone, minister of transportation and infrastructure. “Help keep your loved ones safe on our roads by making sure you have a plan to get home safely before you head out.”

Regional statistics*:

• In B.C., an average of 42 people are killed in impaired-related crashes during the summer months every year. That’s one person killed every three days.

• In the Lower Mainland, an average of 10 people are killed in impaired-related crashes during the summer months every year.

* Five year average from June to September. Fatal victim counts are from police data (2009 to 2013); crashes and injured victim counts are from ICBC data (2009 to 2013). Impaired is defined to include alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines.

Canada Day statistics:**

• Every Canada Day, an average of 164 people are injured in 603 crashes throughout B.C.

• Every Canada Day, an average of 115 people are injured in 370 crashes in the Lower Mainland.

**July 1 (Canada Day) is calculated from (00:00) to (midnight) including incidents where the time was not reported. Five-year average from police data (2009 to 2013).

“Driving while impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is never worth the risk,” said Chief Officer 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 across B.C. will be looking for impaired drivers at CounterAttack roadchecks this summer.”

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