Drunk driving on rise despite legislation, warnings 0
Vancouver police roadblocks removed nearly 70 impaired drivers from the roads last weekend - a 50% jump compared to a year ago.
Police administered 416 sobriety tests July 6-7 and found 68 motorists above the legal drinking limit. Vancouver police Const. Lindsey Houghton said 44 drivers failed tests the same weekend last year, even though an identical number of officers set up roadblocks at many of the same locations in 2011.
"This is something that seems to get talked about every week, but people still aren't getting the message. It's disappointing."
Houghton said the drivers were of all different ages, backgrounds and ethnicities from across Metro Vancouver, while most of the offenders caught at roadblocks were men.
He added many young drivers who've grown up hearing campaigns against impaired driving haven't clued into the dangers.
"We know that people will tune us out eventually, and it will only take a very tragic but completely preventable incident to jar people's senses."
Despite B.C. introducing harsh new legislation in 2010 against drivers who register .05 on breathalyzers, Houghton said that shouldn't impact the number of violations in the last few years.
The laws against blowing .05 on a breathalyzer have been the same for more than three decades, while it's only the penalties that have changed.
Houghton said police are setting up roadblocks this coming weekend as well.
"I'm just hoping that I'm not standing here next Monday telling people we've caught even more."