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Counterattack campaign targets impaired drivers

Const. Tim Churchill speaks with a driver at a road check Friday afternoon. Central Okanagan Traffic Services have begun their annual Counterattack campaign, targeting impaired drivers. - Wade Paterson/Capital News
Const. Tim Churchill speaks with a driver at a road check Friday afternoon. Central Okanagan Traffic Services have begun their annual Counterattack campaign, targeting impaired drivers.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

Local Mounties stopped several motorists travelling eastbound on Leon Avenue Friday afternoon to check for signs of impairment.

The road checks were the first of this year's Counterattack campaign: An annual Central Okanagan Traffic Services initiative, which aims to get impaired drivers off of Kelowna roads.

"We see an increase in incidents of impaired driving, generally, through the holidays," said Kelowna RCMP Const. Kris Clark.

"We want to nip that in the bud before it starts."

Although Friday's road checks were done in the daylight, Clark said drivers can expect to be stopped at various times and locations throughout the city over the next month.

"We can set up anywhere in the city. If it's deemed we need to move for strategic reasons, then we'll do that as well. We won't necessarily be set up in any place for too long."

After stopping a vehicle, Clark said police will attempt to determine if the driver is showing signs of intoxication. If so, Mounties can demand the motorist provide a breath sample.

If the sample shows a reading between 0.06 and 0.099 per cent blood alcohol content, drivers can be given a three-, seven- or 30-day immediate roadside prohibition, depending on that driver's history.

Those who show readings of 0.1 per cent blood alcohol content or higher who don't have a history will likely receive a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition, as well as a 30-day impound.

"If there's a criminal history of IRPs, then the investigator is going to take you back and start a criminal code investigation, which would involve providing breath samples at the detachment," said Clark.

Clark added all types of impairment are being targeted.

Over the last couple years, Mounties have witnessed an increase in drug-impaired driving, he said. Several RCMP members trained in detecting impairment by drugs will be part of the Counterattack road checks.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

Twitter: @PatersonWade

 

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