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VIDEO: Dash-cam footage underscores dangers of impaired driving

Ditch the car keys if you’re impaired. The familiar warning comes as BC RCMP releases dash-cam video, offering a front-seat view of the dangers that abound.

The Burnaby footage from Jan. 8, 2021, shows a now-convicted driver swerving into oncoming traffic, cruising through a red light and narrowly missing other vehicles and pedestrians.

Along the way, they left a path of destruction and caused thousands of dollars in damage, hitting a fire hydrant before crashing into a stop sign.

According to police, as a result, the 62-year-old’s SUV was severely damaged and missing a tire.

At the time, they refused to provide a breath sample and, in August, were convicted of impaired driving, slapped with a $1,000 fine and a one-year driving suspension.

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“We urge everyone to watch this video,” says RCMP Cpl. Mike Kalanj. “This is what impaired driving looks like. There is no excuse for being impaired behind the wheel.”

Kalanj’s warning is echoed more than ever, especially this holiday party season, as police mark December as CounterAttack Impaired Driving Month.

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

That’s because driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs is a criminal offence that can lead to criminal charges, injury or death.

In Nanaimo, Constable Gary O’Brien points to some alarming provincial stats: “On average, about 65 people die every year in collisions as a result of drugs and/or alcohol,” he told Vista Radio.

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

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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.

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