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Counterattack program starts Saturday

RCMP officers will be spending extra time on the roads this holiday season, ensuring those who enjoy extra 'cheer' don't get behind the wheel.The December CounterAttack campaign has been conducted by RCMP for 37 years. Since that time, the number of people killed in impaired driving crashes in BC each year decreased from 300 to 95.Police officers on islands will join others across Canada who'll be out in full force Dec. 7, with road checks for National Impaired Driving Enforcement day."From our perspective, we're making an effort to get out as much as possible so our visible presence reminds impaired drivers to get off the streets. We want to heighten awareness of the dangers," said Cpl. Glen Brecken, Masset RCMP Operations NCO.Alcohol, although most common, is not the only substance that can cause a driver to be impaired, said Cpl. Brecken. Both illegal and prescription drugs can effect a person's ability to operate their vehicle safely.He also said although people may feel fine to drive the morning after a night of drinking, blood alcohol levels can still exceed the legal limit. People need to give enough time between drinking and driving for their body to burn the alcohol off.Concerned islanders can assist in keeping roads clear of dangerous drivers at any time by reporting to police."If someone suspects a driver is impaired, for example, they're crossing lines, weaving in and out, or driving at night with no lights on, they can take initiative and report to us so we can investigate. A plate is critical, and vehicle make and model and direction of travel are useful as well," said Cpl. Brecken.With no public transit, few taxis, and lengthy drives between villages, islanders need to make an extra effort to ensure they get home safely during the holiday season. This often means planning ahead to stay over or having a designated driver."We want people to make smart decisions," Cpl. Brecken said.