ICBC and police are teaming up for the annual December CounterAttack campaign, urging drivers to be responsible and plan in advance for a safe ride home this holiday season.
The campaign kicks off this weekend and police will be looking for impaired drivers at roadchecks set up across the province throughout December.
More people may choose to attend holiday gatherings this year where public health orders allow, but one message remains as strict as ever: if you drink, don't drive.
“This year, we're all looking forward to holiday gatherings and special festivities. But remember to celebrate safely as police will be out in full force looking for drivers who may be impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee.
“B.C.'s annual CounterAttack impaired driving campaign is designed to help keep our roads safe, and families and friends together. Impaired driving by alcohol or drugs is a preventable, dangerous decision that too often results in serious injuries or death.
“We encourage you to embrace the joy of the season, while making safe and responsible choices."
While progress has been made since CounterAttack roadchecks began, impaired driving remains one of the top three contributing factors for fatal crashes in B.C. – claiming the lives of 65 people and injuring 1,700 every year.
More than half of impaired-related crashes occur on the weekend — including on average, 24 people are killed and 390 injured in 660 impaired driving related crashes in the Southern Interior every year — which is why ICBC and police are reminding drivers to make smart decisions if their holiday festivities involve alcohol.
“While it's exciting that more of us are able togather for celebrations and events this year, it's important that we all do our part to prevent crashes and save lives,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC's Vice-President of Public Affairs and Driver Licensing.
“When you drink and drive, you not only risk your life but those of others on the road. If your festivities include alcohol, please be responsible and plan ahead for a safe ride home – arrange a designated driver, call a taxi or take transit."
ICBC has led impaired driving education campaigns and funded CounterAttack enhanced police enforcement for over 40 years.