Candy Cane Checks to remind drivers to stay sober over the holiday season can happen anywhere, any time, Devon Gerrits Prince Rupert RCMP watch commander, said.
“One of our top priorities is safe roads and catching impaired drivers. We can be out there any number of times in a number of nights,” he said.
The message for this holiday season is simple and to the point.
“No impaired driving,” Gerrits said. “If you are planning on drinking – don’t drive.”
“It remains one of the top causes of criminal deaths in British Columbia and the Prince Rupert RCMP take impaired driving very seriously,” the RCMP officer said.
Part of the message is to use alternative ways to get home.
“Use transit, take a cab, have a designated driver. We want to make sure everyone gets to their destination safely.”
Prince Rupert Candy Cane checks usually have a high number of vehicles stop through, Gerrits said.
“We are constantly out there doing proactive work to keep the roads in Prince Rupert safe.”
There are a couple of different processes that exist if you are stopped and apprehended for impaired driving, Gerrits said.
Under the Motor Vehicles Act, immediate roadside prohibitions can occur.
“If you fail as a result of an ASD (a roadside screening device or breathalyzer) — if you fail that you will be prohibited from driving for a period of 90 days immediately. Your vehicle is also impounded for 30 days. Your driver’s license is also seized and there are a host of fines that go along with all that,” he said.
“It is a very hefty fine. It is something that you do not want to take the chance to have happen.”
If you don’t choose an alternative way to get home, the alternative to being charged under the Motor Vehicles Act is already chosen for you – you can be charged criminally under the Canada Criminal Code.
“We want to remind people if they are planning on drinking just do not drive,” Gerrits said.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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