RCMP photo

RCMP photo

South Okanagan RCMP ramping up targeted CounterAttack enforcement

12 impaired drivers were caught by RCMP on Dec. 1, assisted by South Okanagan Traffic Service

The Penticton South Okanagan Similkameen Regional Detachment is once again reminding the public to not drive impaired this holiday season.

On Dec. 1, the Penticton RCMP joined forces with the South Okanagan Traffic Services taking 12 impaired drivers off of the road. According to a release from the detachment, an average of 68 people die each year in crashes involving impairment in B.C., with half of these crashes occuring on the weekend between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

“Starting early December, the detachment joined also by South Okanagan Traffic Services, will be ramping up targeted CounterAttack enforcement. Officers will be looking for those impaired by both alcohol and drugs,” said Const. James Grandy in a news release. “There will be specially-trained drug recognition experts ready to assess those drivers who may be impaired by drugs, such as marijuana.”

Related: Don’t be dazed and confused about cannabis legalization

The ability for officers to accurately test the level of cannabis in a person’s system has been the topic of much debate since legalization in October. Officers can utilize Draeger machines, which analyze a person’s saliva to detect cannabis, but their high cost means they are not as readily accessible as a breathalyzer, which analyze’s a persons breath to detect alcohol.

Concerns have also risen about the accuracy of Draeger machines in determining if a person is currently impaired, because cannabis can stay in a person’s body for days after use and long-term cannabis users can build up a reserve in their system. Drug recognition experts conduct roadside tests involving eye pigmentation to determine if a person is currently impaired.

Officers who receive the drug recognition training as certified as experts in court and can give testimony as to why in their opinion a person is under the influence of drugs. At the initial blitz by the South Okanagan Traffic Services, after legalization, RCMP said one driver was observed and suspected to be under the influence of cannabis which resulted in a roadside suspension. Several violation tickets were also issued under the new Cannabis Control and Licensing Act at the initial enhanced impaired driving enforcement campaign.

Related: South Okanagan RCMP campaign issues several cannabis violations

“There are so many easy alternatives to getting around safely this season, there’s no reason to risk driving while impaired,” said Grandy. “Before going out this holiday season, plan for a safe ride home.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Keremeos family lost their home after a fire shortly before midnight on April 13. No injuries were reported. (Contributed)
Keremeos home destroyed in late-night fire

The family inside was unharmed

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Campfires are allowed within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, but open burning season comes to an end April 15 at midnight. (Black Press file photo)
Open burning season ends in Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

Campfires are permitted, following provincial guidelines

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Name is spelled incorrectly

For 100 years, the Garnett name has been spelled incorrectly as Garnet

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Development will start disintegration of Summerland

I am in favour of affordable housing but voting for a rezoning does not address this serious issue

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

Naloxone
Op/Ed: Interior Health CEO speaks on five years of strides and challenges in overdose crisis

In 2020, close to 4,000 people across IH had access to opioid medications

Somewhere in the pack being celebrated by his teammates is Vernon Vipers forward Zack Tonelli, who scored in overtime Wednesday afternoon, April 14, to give the Snakes a 6-5 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in B.C. Hockey League pod play at Kal Tire Place. (Liza Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers bite Salmon Arm Silverbacks in OT

Snakes blow 5-3 third-period lead, rally in extra time for 6-5 pod play result over rivals

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department, photo from Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page
The Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department. (Facebook)
South Okanagan fire crews battle two blazes one-after-another

The two fires were likely caused by discarded cigarettes according to the fire department

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Most Read