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Island police crack down on impaired drivers

It’s Christmas party season, and if you’re heading out, a reminder to not drink and drive.

The familiar plea is echoed more than ever, as police across B.C. mark December as CounterAttack Impaired Driving Month.

The annual campaign coincides with National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day, which is this Saturday, Dec. 4.

Across Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and Canada-wide, police will be out in full force, setting up road checks and cracking down on impaired drivers.

In Nanaimo, Constable Gary O’Brien is gearing up for the big day, as he points to some alarming provincial stats.

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“On average, about 65 people die every year in collisions as a result of drugs and/or alcohol,” he tells Vista Radio.

“So we’re going to have enhanced patrol all throughout the city, at various spots where we know the cars are coming through. We know where the corridors are, we know where people funnel in and out of the city.”

On the island specifically, ICBC finds an average of eleven people are killed and 320 are injured in 600 impaired driving crashes every year.

That said, RCMP reminds drivers to plan ahead when drinking – whether that’s arranging for a ride and carpooling, or drinking at a bar within walking distance of home.

“We want everyone to have a great evening but more importantly, we want everyone to arrive home safely,” O’Brien adds. “Don’t allow yourself to become a statistic. Make good choices.”

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