If you’re looking to cut loose after being cooped up at home, be sure to do it safely.
That’s the message from the New Westminster Police Department, which is setting up road checks as part of a month-long CounterAttack campaign that’s targeting impaired drivers and aiming to get them off the road.
Sgt. Jeff Scott said the police department is partnering with ICBC on the annual campaign.
“Specifically we see an easing of COVID restrictions,” he told the Record. “Generally we do them in the summer anyway, but as restrictions get eased, we are starting to see more people out, more people getting back into the bar scene because it’s been closed.”
Scott said the New Westminster Police Department wants folks to enjoy themselves and have fun – but to be safe.
“Make sure you have a safe ride home, whether it’s a taxi, Uber or transit, walking or whatever – not driving,” Scott said.
Being caught while driving impaired can result in a driving suspension from 24 hours to 90 days, vehicle impoundment, fines from $600 to $4,060, jail time, mandatory rehabilitation or installation of an ignition interlock device.
“Everyone can expect to see our officers conducting patrols and check stops,” said Sgt. Greg Smith of the police department’s traffic unit. “Whether you’re having alcohol or cannabis at home or out with friends, please be responsible and don’t drive.”
Like alcohol, cannabis is legal – but it can also lead to charges for those who are driving impaired.
“We want to remind drivers that, although it is legal, it is still something that can impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle,” Scott said. “Just as a friendly reminder, if you are going to consume cannabis, be aware of the possible drug-impairment charges that can come with that. Go have fun, enjoy the summer – we have all been cooped up because of COVID – but a reminder if you are going to have more than sober fun, don’t drive.”
The New Westminster Police Department urges people to report possible impaired drivers to 911.