Keep the season merry – plan ahead before you drive

RCMP remind motorists that there is never an excuse to drive while affected by alcohol or drugs

Mike Morris, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General recently teamed up with ICBC and Prince George RCMP to remind motorists that there is never an excuse to drive while affected by alcohol or drugs and to plan ahead this holiday season.

“Having fun and being festive is encouraged but risking lives doing it won’t be tolerated,” said Morris. “If you think you might indulge in a few spirits over the holidays, plan ahead and organize a safe way home – if you don’t, the penalties are severe and the consequences can be deadly.”

On Dec. 1, the Province, ICBC, and police launched the annual winter CounterAttack campaign, which sets up road checks throughout the province all December long to screen for alcohol and drug affected drivers.

Anybody caught drinking and driving will be subject to an Immediate Roadside Prohibition, including vehicle impoundments and penalties costing at least $2,400.

While much progress has been made in recent years, impaired driving is still one of the top three contributing factors for fatal crashes in B.C. costing 66 people their lives each year.

Government and ICBC are helping to prevent impaired driving this holiday season with an education campaign, funding for CounterAttack road checks and get-home-safe promotion with businesses, sports facilities and community groups.

Police CounterAttack overtime funding has also doubled this year to make sure everyone gets the message and that alcohol- affected drivers are taken off B.C. roads.

Crashes due to drinking and driving are preventable.

If your holiday festivities involve alcohol, make a plan before heading out. Arrange for a designated driver or use other options to get home safely – take transit, call a taxi or call a friend.

Learn more: For holiday season driving tips and more on the CounterAttack campaign, visit: www.icbc.com

For more information about Immediate Roadside Prohibition penalties, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/driving-and-transportation/driving/publications/immediate-roadside-prohibition-penalties.pdf