Campaign against impaired driving starts on Canada Day

Police across B.C. will be stepping up enforcement against driving while impaired amid easing COVID-19 restrictions.

With many restaurants and pubs reopening, the summer CounterAttack campaign kicks off onCanada Day.

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Drivers to plan ahead for a safe ride home if their activities involve alcohol. Impairment also means impairment by illegal drugs or prescription medication and while progress has been made, impaired driving remains the leading cause of criminal death in Canada and in the top three contributing factors for fatal crashes in B.C.

Every year, on average, 68 people are killed as a result of impaired driving, with 40 per cent of those deaths happening in the summer, according to ICBC. North Central B.C. accounts for 20 of those deaths, along with 190 injured in 310 impaired driving related crashes.

"Too often our officers are put in the position of having to notify a family that they have lost a loved one due to an impaired driving collision, said B.C. RCMP Traffic Services Supt. Holly Turton. "We want people to enjoy the summer but we also want people to make good decisions and choose to drive sober every time they get behind the wheel. If you do plan to drink alcohol or consume drugs of any kind, have a designated driver or plan alternate ways home."

Motorists can expect to see an increased presence on highways throughout the province and may experience short delays.

Police are asking motorists to drive safely, and obey the directions of officers at any check-stop.

If you're hosting a celebration this summer and plan to serve alcohol, get an ICBC special event permit kit for free on icbc.com.

It's also available when you apply for an event liquor permit at BCLiquorStores.com. The kits include items to encourage designated drivers to stay sober and for guests to find a safe ride home.

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