The number of RCMP Counterattack road checks in the local area was increased to 10 this year. In comparison, three road checks were held during the 2010 – 2011 Christmas and New Year holiday period.
According to St. Sgt. MacDonald from the Burns Lake RCMP detachment, additional provincial funding was secured by the detachment, through North District Traffic Services, which enabled the additional road checks to be performed.
“Supplementing of our enforcement efforts, there was also a strong emphasis placed on educational awareness, including developing a paper bag campaign in partnership with our local schools and liquor vendors, as well as developing a partnership with the Burns Lake Volunteer Fire Department, the British Columbia Ambulance Service, Tahtsa Timber Ltd. and Lakes District News for the creation of a public service announcement.”
A total of 403 vehicles were checked over Christmas and New Year, resulting in one drug seizure and seven violations under the Motor Vehicle Act.
“The violations were for defective equipment, no drivers license and no vehicle registration. Three of the violations resulted in tickets while the remaining four were written or verbal warnings. Also, there was one ticket issued to a driver that had open liquor inside the motor vehicle. The RCMP member who seized the marijuana, utilized officer discretion pertaining to a charge under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act,” St. Sgt. MacDonald said, adding that the quantity of marijuana seized was one joint and a small tin with roaches.
During the same period last year, 40 motor vehicles were checked, resulting in one person charged with impaired driving under the Criminal Code and one violation under the Motor Vehicle Act.
Burns Lake RCMP have now concluded their annual winter Counterattack campaign however, St. Sgt. MacDonald said that similar road checks will continue throughout the year. “In 2011, Burns Lake RCMP conducted a total of 25 road checks,” he said.
The number of road checks next holiday season will depend partially upon RCMP resources and work load. “Contributing to determining the number of road checks we will have next holiday season will be the results of our upcoming consultations with our clients, partners and stakeholders in establishing policing priorities for the 2012/2013 Annual Performance Plan.”
St. Sgt. MacDonald said, “Locally, it appears that changes in provincial legislation, increased enforcement and enhanced educational awareness have supported changes in behaviors associated with drinking and driving.”
“Police will continue to use all applicable enforcement tools, including the immediate roadside prohibition to achieve our goal of public safety throughout the year.”