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Canada 150 is no excuse to drink and drive, says ICBC and police

Police will be out in full force so it's a good idea to plan ahead when celebrating Canada Day.

ICBC and police are urging drivers to plan ahead for a safe ride home if any of your activities this summer involve alcohol, especially with Canada celebrating its 150th birthday this weekend.

Each year in B.C., 66 people die in crashes involving impaired driving and nearly half* of those deaths happen during summer months. On Canada Day, 180 people are injured and one person is killed in 640 crashes every year in B.C. — in the Southern Interior, an average of 23 people are killed in impaired-related crashes every year. Each year 22 people are injured in 100 crashes in the Southern Interior on Canada Day.

"Police are out on B.C. roads looking to remove impaired drivers at multiple CounterAttack roadchecks this summer," said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. "The dangers of impaired driving are real, the consequences can be life changing. Don't be the reason someone doesn't make it home. Plan ahead, don't drink and drive — for everyone's sake."

Anyone planning to drink should leave their car at home. With many options available – like arranging a designated driver, calling a taxi or taking transit—there's no excuse to drink and drive.

If you're hosting a celebration this summer and plan to serve alcohol, a new ICBC special event permit kit is free to order on icbc.com. It'll also be featured if you apply for an event liquor permit on BCLiquorStores.com. The kits includes items to encourage guests to not drink if they're the designated driver or find a safe ride home.

Starting this long weekend, police are stepping up their enforcement of impaired drivers at CounterAttack roadchecks throughout B.C. ICBC road safety and community coordinators are also increasing public education at community events throughout the province.

ICBC supports two impaired driving education campaigns every year as well as funding for CounterAttack enhanced police enforcement. Learn more facts in ICBC's infographic.

"Celebrating 150 years of Canadian history is a major milestone and there's going to be a lot of festivities, but no matter the summer activity that's no excuse to drive impaired," said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC's director responsible for road safety. "We're doing all we can to educate and deter this dangerous behaviour, but we need everyone to make smart decisions to make B.C. roads safer."