Counter Attack campaign kicks off in Kamloops

By Greg Fry
December 6, 2017 - 9:59am Updated: December 6, 2017 - 5:34pm

KAMLOOPS — Yet another sign of the holiday season as the Kamloops RCMP has launched its annual Counter Attack program.

Dedicated to ridding the roads of drunk drivers, there will be extra Mounties on the road all month.

"And that's looking for impaired drivers 24 hours a day," says Cpl. Jodi Shelkie. "In British Columbia, the drinking and driving laws are tough on impaired drivers and there's really no reason that somebody has to be driving impaired. There are lots of ways to avoid drunk driving: you can have a designated driver, take a taxi, public transit or use Operation Red Nose."

Shelkie says the penalities for drunk driving are tough. For example, a vehicle can be immediately taken off the road for three to 30 days with costs related to these offences ranging from $600 to $4000. Those found impaired are also subject to criminal charges.

And Shelkie says it's not just drunk drivers they're targeting.

"Impaired driving means impaired by any substance. So, it's not just alcohol but any kind of drug. And we do have specially trained drug recognition experts who, if we determine that the person is not impaired by alcohol, they will do tests to find out what drug they're impaired by and it's the same penalty as if you were impaired by alcohol."

She says the campaign started December 1 and wraps up January 1.

The number of impaired driving fatalities has dropped significantly since the Counter Attack campaign started 40 years ago. In the 1970s, an average of more than 300 people died each year as a result of drunk driving. By 2017, that average has dropped 80 per cent to 65 people a year.

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