Dozens of drivers were checked by police for possible impairment during a weekend enforcement blitz in Nanaimo.
Saturday, Dec. 4, was National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day, and Nanaimo RCMP set up road checks that night to look out for impaired drivers.
The check stops were set up on Uplands Drive between Hammond Bay and Turner roads and on Cranberry Avenue near the Moose Hall.
The vast majority of drivers checked were sober – only a small number were asked to provide breath samples – and safe drivers were handed coupons for free coffee from McDonald’s.
The road checks in Nanaimo were part of a national enforcement campaign. For 24 hours, police officers between Bonavista, Nfld., and Ahousaht, B.C., turned out to stop anyone who chose to drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Impaired driving continues to be one of the leading causes of fatal crashes and claims, on average, 65 lives a year in B.C., say RCMP.
To avoid penalties for impaired driving and perhaps even save a life, people are asked to make arrangements in advance for a ride home. Police advise taking a taxi, car pooling with a designated driver, or walking if the drinking establishment is close to home.
“We want everyone to have a great evening, but more importantly, we want everyone to arrive home safely. Don’t allow yourself to become a statistic. Make good choices,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.