It was a sobering start to the season of holiday cheer last weekend as North Vancouver RCMP officers put the brakes on nine impaired drivers.
Six of the impaired drivers were sent to the curb after going through a police roadblock on the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing between midnight and 3 a.m.
Penalties handed out included one 90-day immediate roadside suspension, four three-day suspensions and one 24-hour prohibition. Three more impaired drivers were taken off the road earlier in the evening in North Vancouver.
The Second Narrows bridge is one of several “known spots” where police tend to encounter people who are driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit, said Const. Mansoor Sahak, spokesperson for the North Vancouver RCMP.
Extra officers will be out across the North Shore doing increased enforcement during the month of December, he added.
Two days before the nine drivers were nabbed, Mothers Against Drunk Driving members were in West Vancouver to launch the annual red ribbon campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving.
“This is a problem we can solve, we just need to change people’s behaviour,” said Charlie Grahn, treasurer and board member of MADD Metro Vancouver.
At the event, Grahn noted that West Vancouver is the “No. 1 enforcement jurisdiction for impaired driving in Metro Vancouver.”
While dangerous, driving while impaired can also be expensive if you are caught in a police roadblock. Drivers face potential vehicle impoundment and associated costs, fines, and possible installation of an ignition interlock device.
If you crash while driving impaired, you can also be found in breach of your insurance policy. That means you could be personally responsible for 100 per cent of the costs if you damage someone else’s property or injure them, police warn.