Penticton RCMP is serving notice that starting Saturday road checks will be popping up when and where they are least expected.
“People can expect some increased enforcement on the road and we’re going to be doing daytime enforcement as well as evening and nighttime enforcement, so expect to be checked,” said Cpl. Ted Manchulenko. “Hopefully we don’t catch anybody that’s impaired, that’s our goal. I think the education over the years has changed peoples’ attitude a bit, but it’s never going to end and we’re still finding repeats that definitely don’t get the message.”
Saturday is also the national impaired driving enforcement day.
Manchulenko believes social conscious plays a factor in whether or not someone who is possibly impaired decides to, or is allowed to drive.
“We’ve run into hundreds of vehicles who have three people in the car that are obviously intoxicated and you’ve got one person as a designated driver who is taking everybody home,” he said. “I think that’s the goal and if we can make that happen everybody goes home safe and happy.
“But I think it is more driven by liability. It’s not just a simple matter of that one person behind the wheel. If an event occurs of any significance than that person or establishment that has been supplying liquor to that person can be held accountable as well, perhaps not criminally but civilly, absolutely.”
While he hasn’t specifically talked to the establishments which serve alcohol, Manchulenko believes those businesses are getting the message about the potential implications of over serving customers.
He added police have also noticed a change with an increase in the number of drivers impaired as result of drugs even though the legal consequences are the same.
As well, an incident late last week should be a warning to drivers about the potential problems of leaving an unattended car running.
A 1996 Olds Cutless Supreme parked in the area of Clark Freightways on Dawson Avenue and left running was stolen early Thursday morning.
“I realize it’s cold and there’s frost on windows, but number one, don’t start your car and go back into the house and leave it unattended and running because when you come back to jump in your car you’re going to be taking the bus because your car won’t be there,” said Manchulenko. “There’s a $109 fine under the Motor Vehicle Act but it should be common sense.”
He noted as winter driving conditions worsen people are advised to have good winter tires, leave a little earlier than normal and “slow down.”