Kelowna Mounties honoured for getting drunks off the roads

19 Kelowna Mounties from the Central Okanagan were named to Alexa's Team for getting a significant amount of drinking drivers off the road.

Getting drunks off the roads in the dead of winter or in the wee hours of the night isn’t a task for the faint of heart, but local Mounties have found ample cause to keep going.

“The motivation is to prevent fatalities and injuries,” said Const. Brad Smith, who specializes in impaired driving enforcement.

“You only have to have been to a few crash sites, and that sets the tone for the work.”

Smith was among 19 Kelowna officers from the Central Okanagan honoured Tuesday by the BCAA Road Safety Foundation and named to Alexa’s Team for getting a significant amount of drinking drivers off the road.

Their combined efforts amounted to 952 fewer impaired drivers on the roads, and Smith’s contribution to that bounty was most significant, at 149.

His success, he said, is largely attributable to the province’s Immediate Roadside Prohibition  legislation.

“With the IRP program I was able to get eight (drinking drivers) a night,” he said. “When the IRP fail provision was suspended, the most I can get now is three.”

Paperwork associated with arresting an impaired driver and pressing a criminal charge is onerous, he explained, and that diverts his time from enforcement efforts.

The other negative impact from the recent court ordered pause on the IRP fail provision, is that there’s a change in mindset.

“We noticed there were less impaired drivers when we had the fail provision, and  more after it went on hold,”  he said. “I don’t know that for sure… I have no figures.”

Alexa’s Team is a project started by Laurel and Michael Middelaer following the tragic death of their four-year-old daughter Alexa in May 2008.

The woman convicted in 2010 of drunk driving causing the four year old’s death, appealed her conviction and is awaiting a decision, but the family has continued to lobby for changes in impaired driving enforcement regardless.

This year rewards from those efforts are tangible said Laurel Middelaer. Provincial statistics showed a marked decrease in drinking driving fatalities.

“I feel safer by having you on the roads,” she told the room of police officers gathered, Tuesday.

“Because of you, 45 families, communities and schools didn’t have to face what I did.”

The program is in its fourth year and has grown from 26 members in the Lower Mainland to 355 Mounties provincewide. Since its early days, Alexa Team members must  have processed 32,743 impaired riving charges or penalties against drivers in violation of B.C.’s impaired driving laws.

To be nominated for Alexa’s Team, police officers must have removed at least 12 impaired drivers from the road in the previous calendar year through Criminal Charge investigation of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition administrative process.

Kelowna officers;

  • Const. Chad Lucash
  • Const. Brad Smith
  • Const. Micha Yakonowsky
  • Cpl. Mike McVicar
  • Const. Sheldon Herman
  • Const. Troy LaPlante
  • Const. Kyle Boffy
  • Const. Vince Cesarone
  • Const. Jon Leroux
  • Const. Beth Paetz
  • Const. Ryan Bennett
  • Const. Chris Neid
  • Const. Bob Charron
  • Const. Tibor Baldauf
  • Const. Gevan Dale
  • Const. Gabi Prommer
  • Const. Cory Schneider
  • Cpl. Jayson Lucash
  • Const. Kent Hall

Just Posted

Rail trail connection drives ahead

Coldstream connects Vernon to Lake Country

West Kelowna’s music in the park will rock this Friday

This Friday’s Music in the Park will feature rock and country group… Continue reading

Extreme fire danger in the Okanagan-Shuswap

The fire danger rating hits extreme or high in areas of the Okanagan- Shuswap

Get Moonstruck at Kelowna theatre event

New Vintage Theatre will honour actor Nicolas Cage on July 21

Busy day for Central Okanagan Search And Rescue

Two calls and wildfire training kept COSAR volunteers hopping Sunday

Course veterans seize victory in Peach City Classic

The first place titles in this year’s triathlon belonged to returning competitors.

Incredible sight in Okanagan night sky

Vernon resident Martin Impey caputure the new moon in conjunction with the planet Venus

B.C. baseball team offers funeral prize pack

Wednesday’s West Coast League game in Victoria features draw for end-of-life package

Black Press Media journalists win big at Canadian community newspaper awards

Newsrooms earn recognition for editorial and photography excellence

Penticton boundary extension official

City boundaries expanded to edge of Skaha Bluffs Provincial park

Unbeaten streak halted, but Sun Devils clinch

Kelowna Sun Devils lose first games of the 18U AAA season but wrap up top spot

Riptide, CVUSC paved the way for varsity soccer players

Chloe Gummer has become a leader at VIU

B.C. woman disappointed after family asked for ID at townhouse complex pool

Surrey woman says it’s not the first time she has experienced racial profiling at the complex

Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Group behind North Thompson River Provincial Park occupation protest says arrest is ‘declaration of war’

Most Read