Mounties across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley will be at checkpoints on roadways Saturday evening as part of a month-long campaign aimed at impaired drivers.
The B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP) has partnered with ICBC for what they are calling CounterAttack.
"This initiative has been developed to help prevent the destruction of deadly, preventable crashes by stepping up enforcement of impaired driving across the province," said a release from B.C. RCMP.
On Saturday, there will be impaired driving road checks at various spots from Chilliwack to West Vancouver to not only try to keep impaired drivers off roads, but also to raise public awareness of the dangers and consequences of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Statistics from ICBC show that impairment from alcohol or drugs is the third-leading cause of crashes in the province behind distraction and speed. On average, 64 people die each year from crashes where impairment is a contributing factor.
The numbers have been nearly constant for the past 10 years, despite crashes caused by impaired driving being completely preventable.
"Driving impaired after drinking alcohol is dangerous and a crime," said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general in a release about the campaign from ICBC.
"Unfortunately, there are still those willing to take a chance with their own lives, the lives of their passengers and the lives of other road users."
Mounties said that the increased enforcement, which begins on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT, will cause minor traffic delays, but officers will be handing out coffee gift vouchers to drivers who are safely operating their vehicles.
B.C. has some of the toughest impaired driving laws in the country. Offenders can face driving suspensions from 24 hours up to 90 days, have their vehicle impounded, face fines from $600 to $4,060 and even jail time.
If a driver crashes while driving impaired in B.C., it most likely will result in a breach of their insurance policy. That means the driver could be responsible for 100 per cent of the costs if someone else is injured or their property is damaged.
'We all need to do our part'
Officials are asking people considering consuming alcohol or drugs during the holiday season to plan ahead to find an alternate way to and from home.
"If your festivities include alcohol, please be responsible, plan ahead and leave your car at home," said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC's vice-president of customer experience and public affairs, responsible for road safety.
"Use a designated driver, call a taxi or rideshare, take transit or use Operation Red Nose. We all need to do our part to save lives and prevent crashes."
ICBC and police conduct two impaired driving education and enhanced enforcement campaigns every year.