Keeping impaired drivers off area roads is what Barriere RCMP Cst. Dallas Hunt does well. In fact, in 2011, Hunt alone took 17 drunk drivers off our roads. Due to this fact he recently was called to Kelowna; where he and a number of other officers were awarded membership into a very special team.
Alexa’s Team is a project started by the Middelaer family following the tragic death of their daughter Alexa in May 2008. The woman convicted in 2010 of drunk driving causing the four year old’s death, appealed her conviction and is awaiting a decision, but the family has continued to lobby for changes in impaired driving enforcement regardless. This year rewards from those efforts are tangible said Laurel Middelaer. Provincial statistics showed a marked decrease in drinking driving fatalities.
“I feel safer by having you on the roads,” she told the room of police officers gathered, last Tuesday in Kelowna.
“Because of you, 45 families, communities and schools didn’t have to face what I did.”
After four years the program has grown from 26 team members in the Lower Mainland to 355 Mounties provincewide. To be nominated for Alexa’s Team, officers must have removed at least 12 impaired drivers from the road in the previous calendar year through Criminal Charge investigation of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition administrative process.
Cst. Hunt says he had set a personal goal to become a part of Alexa’s Team due to the fact Alexa looked so much like his niece. “Now that I will soon be having a family of my own, Alexa’s death becomes even more personal,” said Hunt. “I encourage the public to keep calling police with your tips on drunk drivers, so we can keep our community roads safe.”