Vancouver police took more than 40 impaired drivers off city streets last weekend during a CounterAttack blitz.
Over three days, more than 350 drivers were pulled over and given drug and alcohol tests, which resulted in 44 license suspensions and 35 vehicle impoundments.
The overwhelming majority of suspensions were related to alcohol consumption. Only two suspensions were issued for drug use, though what types of drugs were consumed in those cases was not disclosed.
“Unfortunately there are still people who think they can chance it, who think they're going to be able to get home and avoid police,” VPD media relations officer Const. Steve Addison said. “What I want everybody to know is we're out there."
Addison said the CounterAttack road blocks will continue throughout the summer and police are reminding drivers they could be stopped at any time, in any place. He noted that societal attitudes around drinking and driving are changing, though some remain entrenched in their behaviour.
"Habits are hard to change," Addison said. "I think that attitude [around drinking and driving] has changed significantly over the years. People do understand that it's unacceptable."
Addison did note, however, that marijuana impairment on the roads is a rarity. He said no measureable uptick has been seen in police data since marijuana was legalized last year and those stats have stayed consistent for years.
"We're not taking a lot of drivers off the road for marijuana impairment," Addison said.
The annual CounterAttack road blocks are a partnership between local police departments and ICBC and aims to promote safe driving and take impaired drivers off the road. Impaired driving remains one of the leading causes of traffic fatalities in B.C.
Addison stressed the need for pre-planning whenever alcohol may enter the picture: use transit, take a cab or arrange for a designated driver.
"Don't do it. Don't chance it," he said.
Anyone who sees a suspected impaired driver is urged to call 911 immediately.
- with files from John Kurucz
- this story has been updated since first published