Motorists are not getting the message.
In the lead up to the holiday season, the Smithers RCMP have been keeping busy arresting impaired drivers.
Last week, 11 were caught in and around Smithers, and eight were nabbed the week prior.
“There seems to be the attitude out there that it won’t happen to me or I’m just driving a couple of blocks so it’s OK,” said Const. Mark Bezzina, with West Pacific Region Traffic Services, who patrol the area between Kitwanga and Burns Lake. “Where I’m from in Ontario, you didn’t even joke about drinking and driving. It seems to be so much more prevalent in B.C.”
It’s rare, Bezzina said, to find impaired drivers who are weaving uncontollably over the road. Most of the impaired drivers they find are ones who have only had a few drinks too many.
“Those are the ones we really want to catch because at that point, your inhibitions are lower and you can’t react nearly as fast as you need to be able to,” he said.
“These are the ones causing accidents.”
This weekend, RCMP officers will be out in full force, focusing on getting impaired drivers off the road as part of their Christmas Counterattack program.
Later this month, the RCMP along with the fire department and ambulance service, are conducting a candycane checkstop, to remind drivers about the dangers of impaired driving.
“We just tell drivers: “It’s December, it’s one of the highest fatality months of the year, please don’t drink and drive,” said Const. Bezzina.