Williams Lake officers honoured for removing impaired drivers

Police officers removed 12,923 impaired drivers from B.C's roads in 2011.

Police officers removed 12,923 impaired drivers from B.C’s roads in 2011.

The numbers were released last week during a ceremony held in Prince George where the BCAA Road Safety Foundation honoured 45 police officers from Northern B.C. for their efforts and inducted them to Alexa’s Team.

Formed in 2008, the Alexa’s Team is made up of 355 RCMP and municipal police officers across the province.

Three of the newest team members are officers based in Williams Lake with the RCMP Cariboo-Chilcotin Traffic Services: Const. C. Meaver, who has been in Williams Lake for 14 years, and Const. D. Henderson and Const. C. Ives, who have been here for two years.

To be inducted on Alexa’s Team officers must have removed at least 12 impaired drivers in the previous calendar year through a criminal charge investigation, immediate roadside prohibition administrative process, by issuing Administrative Driving Prohibitions, IRP Fail, or an IRP Refusal.

In the North District over the past several years there has been a dramatic decrease in the incidents of impaired driving involving fatal crashes, says Sgt. Bob Verbree, regional commander for the Cariboo Chilcotin Traffic Services.

“That decrease is a direct result of the implementation of the IRP process, which has provided our police officers with the ability to deal more effectively and immediately with those who choose to put the public at risk by driving under the influence,” Verbree says.

Vebree points out the newly-inducted members were responsible for removing 562 impaired drivers during 2011, and in Williams Lake many of the charges have resulted from RCMP road blocks

“Our targeted road-block times are the long holiday weekends and the counter attack during the Christmas season, but we are also working toward having more road blocks in the summer time too,” he says.

According to Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, in 2010 there were 16,067 impaired driving charges in B.C.