EDITORIAL: Impaired drivers still the target

Shifting of funding from Christmas to summer a proper use of resources

Fewer CounterAttack roadblocks this holiday season doesn’t mean you can take the party on the road.

According to ICBC, around 30 per cent of car crash fatalities are related to impaired driving.

That’s why ICBC funds enhanced enforcement to help prevent impaired driving through CounterAttack campaigns in July and December.

This year that funding shifted, with more cash for summertime roadblocks and programs such as seatbelt campaigns.

Saanich police, for example, have three extra roadblocks this winter instead of the nine set to snare drinking drivers last December.

The shift seems inevitable when you look at Stats Canada numbers from 2011 that show a 1,355 impaired driving accidents in the nation over one July weekend, (15 to 17) plus Canada Day (1,449) and the last weekend of July (1,411). Over the Christmas weekend that year, Dec. 23 to 25, there were 792 incidents.

While the necessary funding shift from winter to summer appears to leave officers high and dry hopefully the message is getting through.

The psychological effects of generations of drivers expecting to see roadblocks has culminated in a distinct fear and expectation during the Christmas season that those familiar flashing lights could be around the next corner. Common fodder, and complaint, over pints in the pub is that B.C. has the most stringent drinking and driving laws in the country. In cash alone it can cost from $600 to more than $4,000 in fines and fees if you get caught.

That’s aside from the legal and moral implications.

As a society, we don’t think it’s okay for folks to overindulge and drive home. Police across the region routinely respond to calls from the public about possible impaired drivers. Aside from seasonal CounterAttack roadblocks, police are always looking for the telltale signs of an impaired driver. Training these days even extends beyond alcohol, so officers recognize drivers ingesting other substances before getting behind the wheel.

Greater Victoria police are adamant funding changes won’t stop them from cracking down on drinking and driving – after all, B.C. has the toughest laws in Canada.

Just Posted

Pacific FC tie against York9 on Saturday

PFC’s defender scored an own goal off a deflection, putting the game at 2-2

Police investigating dumpster fire in gated alleyway

VicPD and Victoria Fire Department respond to fire on Johnson Street

Famed Syrian artist displays paintings created while living in refugee camps

Farid Abdulbaki’s ‘Between Two Worlds’ exhibit will be displayed May 24-26 in Victoria

Mighty Garage Sale offers boost to Metchosin groups

Metchosin Community Association holds annual sale on May 25 and 26

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Rescue crews still searching for Okanagan kayaker last seen three days ago

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Most Read