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Drinking driving blitz nabs impaired drivers

NANAIMO – People are still not getting the message on drinking and driving.

Despite numerous campaigns and some of the toughest impaired driving laws in the country, people are still not getting the message on drinking and driving.

An RCMP enforcement campaign on July 13 resulted in 18 drivers being issued immediate roadside prohibitions for blood alcohol readings over the legal limit.

The drivers were caught during a 10-hour blitz involving 30 Nanaimo, central and south Island traffic service officers.

Thirty-two vehicles were impounded and 95 violation tickets were issued, many for texting on a cellphone while driving.

A variety of drugs including marijuana, crack cocaine and crystal methamphetamine were also seized in the road blocks.

“Those numbers are alarming,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “It’s discouraging people are not getting the message of drinking and driving.”

Eight more drivers were caught between July 14-28 – numbers well within the typical range of impaired driving incidents in Nanaimo for a two-week, said O’Brien.

“There are only so many corridors that connect to the downtown core and the drinking establishments and our officers know what routes to set up on,” said O’Brien. “We also have chase cars set up on secondary routes in case somebody turns off. ”

Drivers can expect to see road blocks throughout the summer.

“Summer means people are outdoors more on the patio, at parties, at the lake or river, and alcohol is often involved,” said O’Brien. “If you’re drinking and driving in Nanaimo, the chances are you will be stopped. There’s very little possibility of evading a road block.