As we celebrate Canada’s 150th year anniversary this weekend and kick off the summer season, ICBC and police are urging drivers to plan ahead for a safe ride home if any of your activities this summer involve alcohol.

Each year in B.C., 66 people die in crashes involving impaired driving and nearly half* of those deaths happen during summer months. On Canada Day, 180 people are injured and one person is killed in 640 crashes every year in B.C.

If you plan to drink, leave your car at home. With many options available – like arranging a designated driver, calling a taxi or taking transit—there’s no excuse to drink and drive.

If you’re hosting a celebration this summer and plan to serve alcohol, a new ICBC special event permit kit is free to order on icbc.com. It’ll also be featured if you apply for an event liquor permit on BCLiquorStores.com. The kits includes items to encourage guests to not drink if they’re the designated driver or find a safe ride home.

Starting this long weekend, police are stepping up their enforcement of impaired drivers at CounterAttack roadchecks throughout B.C. ICBC road safety and community coordinators are also increasing public education at community events throughout the province.

ICBC supports two impaired driving education campaigns every year as well as funding for CounterAttack enhanced police enforcement. Learn more facts in ICBC’s infographic.

Quotes:

“Police are out on B.C. roads looking to remove impaired drivers at multiple CounterAttack roadchecks this summer,” said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “The dangers of impaired driving are real, the consequences can be life changing. Don’t be the reason someone doesn’t make it home. Plan ahead, don’t drink and drive—for everyone’s sake.”

“Celebrating 150 years of Canadian history is a major milestone and there’s going to be a lot of festivities, but no matter the summer activity that’s no excuse to drive impaired,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety. “We’re doing all we can to educate and deter this dangerous behaviour, but we need everyone to make smart decisions to make B.C. roads safer.”

Additional statistics**

  • In the Lower Mainland, an average of 16 people are killed in impaired-related crashes every year.
  • On Vancouver Island, an average of 10 people are killed in impaired-related crashes every year.
  • In the Southern Interior, an average of 23 people are killed in impaired-related crashes every year.
  • In the North Central region, an average of 19 people are killed in impaired-related crashes every year.

Canada Day statistics***

  • Each year 130 people are injured in 390 crashes in the Lower Mainland on Canada Day.
  • Each year 19 people are injured in 95 crashes on Vancouver Island on Canada Day.
  • Each year 22 people are injured in 100 crashes in the Southern Interior on Canada Day.
  • Each year six people are injured in 42 crashes in the North Central region on Canada Day.

Editor’s notes:

B-roll footage of a CounterAttack roadcheck is available for download.

Lower Mainland media will be invited to attend an evening CounterAttack roadcheck on Sunday, July 2; police will issue a media advisory. Several police detachments throughout B.C. will also invite media to attend CounterAttack roadchecks in their communities on July 2.

*42 per cent based on police data (2011 to 2015).

**Fatal victim counts are from police data (2011 to 2015). Impaired is defined to include alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines.

***Canada Day is calculated from 00:00 to midnight and includes incidents where the time was not reported. Injured victim and crash data from ICBC data (2011 to 2015) and fatal victims from police data (2011 to 2015).

Media contact:

Lindsay Olsen
604-982-4759

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