Although COVID-19 has changed many things, it hasn’t changed the law – if you plan to drink, don’t drive. Police will be setting up CounterAttack roadchecks across the province while taking necessary pandemic-related safety precautions to get impaired drivers off our roads.
With many restaurants and pubs reopening and Canada Day this week, ICBC, police and the B.C. government are urging drivers to plan ahead for a safe ride home if your activities involve alcohol.
Every year, on average, 68 people are killed as a result of impaired driving, with 40 per cent of those deaths happening in the summer.*
During the pandemic, alcohol consumption increased as more people were drinking at home. To encourage physical distancing and outdoor socialization, some municipalities are allowing alcohol consumption in parks and at beaches. Whether you’re drinking at home or out with friends, please be responsible and don’t drive.
While much progress has been made, impaired driving remains the leading cause of criminal death in Canada and in the top three contributing factors for fatal crashes in B.C.
If you’re hosting a celebration this summer (remember to keep it within Provincial Health Officer guidelines) and plan to serve alcohol, get an ICBC special event permit kit for free on icbc.com. It’s also available when you apply for an event liquor permit at BCLiquorStores.com. The kits include items to encourage designated drivers to stay sober and for guests to find a safe ride home.
ICBC supports two impaired driving education campaigns every year. Learn more facts and tips in ICBC’s infographic.
Bowinn Ma, MLA North Vancouver-Lonsdale
“We’ve made significant progress in making our streets safer from impaired driving over the past forty years, but too many people are still losing their lives. CounterAttack remains a key part of our provincial enforcement strategy to reduce crashes involving alcohol and drugs, and make our roads safer for British Columbians.”
Superintendent Holly Turton, Vice-Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee
“Summer is here and so are Summer CounterAttack campaigns, so more police will be on B.C. roads checking for impaired drivers. If your plan includes consuming alcohol or cannabis, plan ahead: get a ride home with a friend, hail a taxi, or take the bus. There is no excuse – including COVID-19 – for driving under the influence, and our priority is to prevent and catch drivers who put themselves and their community in danger. Injuries and deaths from impaired driving are completely preventable, and we all have a responsibility to do the right thing.”
Nicolas Jimenez, ICBC President & CEO
“When you drink and drive, you not only risk your life but those of others on the road. We all need to do our part to prevent crashes and drive smart. If you plan to drink, plan ahead for a safe ride home.”
On average, 16 people are killed and 830 injured in 1,500 impaired driving related crashes in the Lower Mainland every year.
On average, 11 people are killed and 320 injured in 600 impaired driving related crashes on Vancouver Island every year.
On average, 22 people are killed and 390 injured in 660 impaired driving related crashes in the Southern Interior every year.
On average, 20 people are killed and 190 injured in 310 impaired driving related crashes in North Central B.C. every year.
Canada Day statistics**:
Each year on Canada Day, one person is killed and 190 injured in 710 crashes in B.C.
Each year 130 people are injured in 430 crashes in the Lower Mainland on Canada Day.
Each year 24 people are injured in 110 crashes on Vancouver Island on Canada Day.
Each year 24 people are injured in 120 crashes in the Southern Interior on Canada Day.
Each year seven people are injured in 42 crashes in the North Central region on Canada Day.
Lower Mainland media are invited to attend evening CounterAttack roadchecks this weekend in Vancouver. Media can contact VPD Sgt Rob Gough at 778-839-0294 for July 3 details and VPD Sgt Brian Trklja at 604-760-8104 for July 4 details. Please call after 9pm that day to confirm location.
Notes about the data:
*Injuries and crashes are police data, five-year average 2015 to 2019. Fatal victim counts are police data, five-year average 2014 to 2018. 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. Based on five-year average. Injured victim and crash data from ICBC data (2015 to 2019) and fatal victims from police data (2014 to 2018).