Langley RCMP are planning more roadblocks — and not just on the weekends — now that statistics are showing there are more drunk drivers are on the roads this holiday season than last.
“Looking at the stats, there are more drivers consuming liquor and getting behind the wheel this year compared to last season,” said Langley RCMP Traffic Section Sgt. Alexandra Mulvihill.
When the RCMP launched their CounterAttack program on Saturday, Dec. 2, Langley police issued three 90-day roadside suspensions, one three-day driving suspension and two 24-hour suspensions for drugs in a two-hour blitz.
Mulvihill doesn’t know if there is any correlation between the uptick in impaired drivers and the loss of Operation Red Nose in Langley/Surrey this December.
In November, after numerous years of operation in Langley and Surrey, Operation Red Nose announced it didn’t have enough volunteers to drive people to and from parties.
Because the initial CounterAttack stops turned up so many impaired drivers, Langley RCMP plan on setting up roadblocks at random places and times throughout the rest of the holiday season.
On a positive note, police have noticed liquor establishments have been good about reporting intoxicated people to the RCMP.
“We are seeing restaurants and bars taking a real responsibility and calling us. Sometimes that will mean someone will come into an establishment already drunk and will be refused service there and that establishment will contact us,” said Mulvihill.
“It’s really nice to see. Everyone playing a role in stopping people from driving while impaired helps.”
Another trend that traffic section officers have noticed is the number of impaired drivers they are taking off the road between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. — especially RCMP Freeway Patrol.
“A lot of people will drink all night and think they are being responsible by sleeping on a friend’s couch for a few hours before driving home,” said Mulvihill.
“There is the philosophy out there that as long as you sleep a few hours, you are OK to drive. Alcohol in the system doesn’t work that way.”
Mulvihill said if you have been drinking all night and try to drive the next morning, you are likely still drunk and you could fail a breathalyzer test.