More people seem to aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, according to Penticton RCMP traffic officer Cpl. Ted Manchulenko.
“When I look at the stats I think perhaps with the numbers we got relating directly to impaireds, what the members are telling me and what I observed myself on these road checks is that people were getting it (message) this year,” said Manchulenko, who was not aware of any serious alcohol-related accidents during that period. “We had a lot of good comments from people we were stopping, saying ‘we’re aware, we know you’re out here. We saw it in the paper, we heard it on the news and these three people (passengers) are loaded but I’m the guy drinking Pepsi all night’ and that was the case in a lot of the cars that we stopped.”
From the period of Dec. 5 to Jan. 2 police handed out 13 30-day roadside suspensions for alcohol-related driving offences, three three-day and one seven-day suspension.
Statistics from the previous year including a Criminal Code impaired charge, and nearly a dozen 90-day suspensions, totalled 22.
As well, the recent program resulted in the recovery of an alleged stolen vehicle with the driver arrested and charged with obstruction, reportedly giving a false identity to police.
There were also 20 tickets issued under the Motor Vehicle Act for various offences and 15 written warnings, two drug seizures, two persons with no insurance and two without driver’s licenses.
Another person was charged with undue care and attention in the operation of a vehicle, failing to stop for police and stunting.
“That’s things like burnouts, light up the tires, that’s stunting, car goes away for a week and as well a due care ticket, so 365 bucks and additionally this guy didn’t want to stop,” said Manchulenko about the particular incident.
Although the exact figures were not available, he estimated there were dozens of the roving checks over the course of the month-long program.
As well, this season there was increased use of unmarked police vehicles dedicated solely to watching for impaired drivers.
“It was a good mix of enforcement with that and the visible enforcement, it was a 50-50 split,” said Manchulenko.
While CounterAttack is officially over he advised police will continue to be vigilant in watching for those who are impaired and expects more enforcement procedures targeting distracted drivers will be coming in the new year.