Global News

December 17,

Holiday season has arrived and with it the risk of drinking and driving.

Kelowna RCMP wants to remind the public its December counter-attack program is in full swing.

“We are out there and we are patrolling,” said Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy, a Kelowna RCMP officer.

“Our officers are out in force, throughout the month, looking for impaired drivers to make sure our streets are safe.”

Despite COVID-19 restrictions that are in place preventing parties, RCMP say people are still getting behind the wheel while impaired.

“It’s the holidays and we know that you want to go out, we are not seeing the large Christmas parties (due to COVID-19) but we are still catching people drinking and driving,” Noseworthy told Global News on Thursday.

One local advocacy group has also started its annual Christmas campaign, raising awareness about the dangers of impaired driving.

“We have unveiled an impactful holiday awareness campaign aimed at preventing impaired driving in the community,” said Laura Garcia, Central Okanagan Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s president.

The Okanagan chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has installed a sobering display in downtown Kelowna, around the corner from Kelowna’s City Hall.

“We have a car here that’s been in a terrible crash, in fact there was a fatality in it, and it’s to remind people of the impact that a crash caused by a impaired driver can have,” said Eva Gainer, MADD’s director of victim services in the Central Okanagan.

Eva Gainer joined the advocacy group after she lost her husband and youngest son in a drunk driving crash around 20 years ago.

She says the campaign needs to be taken seriously by the community.

“Impaired driving has impacted family, friends and neighbours and so many others — and it could have been prevented. I think of my young son Brian who was 11, he would be 32 now. I miss (my son) Brian and (my husband) Don a lot and I always will,” said Gainer.

MADD said on average four Canadians die per day, due to impaired driving incidents.