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'High number' of impaired drivers nabbed over long weekend at Cowichan Lake

More than 250 stopped for breath screening tests

Despite warnings beforehand, the Vancouver Island unit of the BC Highway Patrol still pulled "a high number" of impaired drivers off the highway near Lake Cowichan over the long weekend.

More officers were on hand to help keep the roadways safe due to both the Canada Day long weekend and the music festival in the Cowichan Lake region bringing many more visitors to west Cowichan.

"Over the weekend BCHP Vancouver Island conducted 265 roadside breath screening tests on drivers to determine if their ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol. A total of 26 impaired drivers were removed from the roadway, 24 for being impaired by alcohol and two for being impaired by drugs," according to a news release issued July 10.

"Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of deaths on our roadways so finding nearly one out of every 10 drivers we tested over the weekend impaired is of great concern to me," said Staff Sgt. Adam Tallboy, acting officer in charge of BC Highway Patrol. "Drivers who have consumed drugs or alcohol have a number of options to get home safely instead of getting behind the wheel of their vehicle and endangering all other road users."

Enforcement efforts won't stop, police warn.

"The public can expect to see an increase in impaired driving enforcement using mandatory breath demands to ensure all road users can arrive safely to their destinations. The immediate roadside prohibitions that were issued ranged from three days to 90 days depending on blood alcohol concentration, and were accompanied by vehicle impoundments."

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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