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.

Just Posted

(Facebook)
New trial date set in Penticton for Thomas Kruger-Allen’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Scales of Justice
Acquittal in Okanagan crash that killed vacationing dentist

Daerio Romeo, 29, was charged with dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Penticton to get outdoor ice rink this winter

It’s hoped the rink will be ready to host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Travel Penticton went to city council for support in increasing the tax on short-term stays to fund a convention bureau and affordable housing. (File photo)
Travel Penticton seeks to grow through increased hotel tax

The increased funds would go to creating a convention bureau and to affordable housing

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

Orange ribbons are tied to the fence outside Vernon’s Gateway Homeless Shelter on 33rd Street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
POLL: Low-key Canada Day in the works for Vernon

Councillor calling for Indigenous recognition for 2022

A conceptual design of Vernon’s new Active Living Centre, which will go to referendum Oct. 15, 2022. (Rendering)
Active living centre 2022 referendum planned in Vernon

City hoping to get Coldstream and Areas B and C back on board

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

A provided photo of the suspect. (Kelowna RCMP/Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP investigating after business robbed

An undisclosed amount of money and merchandise were taken from the business

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Most Read