RCMP hold seasonal road checks

Members of the Summerland RCMP detachment will conduct check stops as they watch for impaired drivers.

Beginning this week, members of the Summerland RCMP detachment, along with regional highway patrol members will conduct check stops as they watch for impaired drivers.

Sgt. Stephane Lacroix of the Summerland RCMP detachment said the checks are part of a national initiative.

He said the stops will be held at various locations throughout the community, at all hours.

The checks will continue until early in the new year.

“There’s no excuse for drinking and driving,” he said, adding that taxis, arranged rides and other transportation options are available.

The seasonal checks are held because of concerns about impaired driving after holiday parties and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

British Columbia has severe penalties for those who drive while they are impaired.

A motorist who blows a Fail on the roadside blood alcohol device will lose his or her license for 90 days. The vehicle will be impounded for 30 days.

The impound fees and the costs of having the license reissued can be substantial, Lacroix said.

While most Summerland motorists stopped in previous road checks have been sober, some have received suspensions for impaired driving.

Among the excuses used by tipsy drivers are concerns that the parked vehicle would be stolen, complaints about weather being too cold for walking and the need to drive one’s children to school the following morning.

Lacroix said younger motorists tend to avoid driving after they have been drinking, adding that the drivers most likely to be impaired are in their late 30s to late 50s.