Victoria police chief pledges Canada Day booze crackdown

Police to be more strict on liquor laws during Canada Day festivities

Jamie Graham

With more than 200 police officers roaming the streets, Canada Day revellers should be wary of breaking the rules this weekend, Victoria’s police chief says.

Chief Jamie Graham said people busted with open liquor, or found to be drunk in public will be ticketed.

Although it’s up to individual officers whether to ticket someone caught breaking liquor laws, VicPD is “going to do our very best to remove that discretion,” Graham said.

For Victoria police, Canada Day is the busiest day of the year, especially this July 1, as it falls on a Friday. About 50,000 people are expected to flood the city streets around the harbour to catch the festivities and watch the fireworks, which launch at 10:20 p.m.

“If you have open liquor, you’re going to get a fine,” Graham said.

The celebrations are targeted to families, but traditionally, police have been kept busy in the late evening with people drinking in the streets. The fine for consuming or being in possession of open liquor is $200, plus officers could slap another $150 fine on partiers who are drunk in public.

Police cannot perform random searches – they must have grounds to check bags and pour out drinks.

Roadblocks set up across the city will pick off drunk drivers and vehicles with open liquor inside. Graham said people wanting to get downtown should use taxis or public transportation.

More than 100 B.C. Transit employees will be on the roads and on standby Friday. Two years ago, the bus company transported 61,500 riders on July 1, said B.C. Transit spokesperson Joanna Linsangan.

“All hands are on deck that night,” she said.

The transit company’s Friday late-night bus service, which it implemented last September, is expected to make a difference in getting more people home following the Canada Day fireworks.

“We think it will be beneficial especially for those wanting to stay later,” said Linsangan.

Late-night service will be available until 1:30 a.m. on the No. 4 University of Victoria bus, the No. 6 Esquimalt-Royal Oak and the No. 14 UVic-Victoria General bus.

The police contingent will be beefed up with help from military police, officers from Saanich, Central Saanich and Oak Bay departments, Coast Guard and harbour authority officers.

The area around the Inner Harbour will be closed to traffic for most of the night.

ecardone@vicnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Canada Women’s Rugby 7s Team land at home after series triumph

Next stop at Langford offers Olympic qualification

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Two-sailing waits continue Victoria to Tsawwassen

Backlog continues despite extra sailings over Easter

Saanich soccer player survives bout with flesh eating disease

Harinder Sandhu picked up the disease after soccer game

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Most Read