CounterAttack calms city streets amidst Christmas celebrations
By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily
The new drinking and driving legislation played a major role in keeping Nelson streets substantially clear of drunk drivers during the annual CounterAttack by city police, says an NPD staff sergeant.
Howie Grant said over Christmas and New Year’s people in the city were “very responsible” in avoiding having a few drinks and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
During the CounterAttack time period from Dec. 24 to Jan. 1 — using varying times and locations of the stop checks — there were 96 calls for service with only five alcohol-related driving offences, which is substantially less than in previous years, Sgt. Grant said.
“The (police) members were telling me they were taking a lot of designated drivers through the roadblocks, as people had made prior arrangements for that,” he said. “I’d like to think the legislation is having some impact, and that people are being more responsible, which is a good thing.”
There was one three-day suspension handed out with two 90-day suspensions and one prohibited driver culled from the herd.
Even the nightclub scene on New Year’s Eve was tame, Sgt. Grant noted. Over that period there were only 10 related calls for intoxicated individuals.
If someone has been drinking and are stopped on the roadside by NPD officers, they will be required to give a breath sample.
If the result is “warn,” and it is the first offence, that person will receive an immediate three-day driving ban, a $200 fine, a possible three-day vehicle impoundment and a $250 driver’s licence reinstatement fee — adding up to at least $600 in fines.
A second offence will result in a driving ban for seven days, a $300 fine and a possible vehicle impoundment — with fines totaling around $760.
A third offence comes with a 30-day driving ban, a $400 fine, a 30-day vehicle impoundment, enrolment in the Responsible Driving program, an ignition interlock installed for one year and a $250 driver’s licence reinstatement fee — costing around $3,960 in fines.
If your breath sample is a “fail” you can expect to face a 90-day driving ban, a $500 fine, a $250 reinstatement fee, a 30-day vehicle impoundment, enrolment in the Responsible Driver’s Program, and an ignition interlock installed for one year.
This will cost at least $4,060 in fines and carry with it the possibility of criminal charges.