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Planning for a Safe Holiday Season

Planning for a Safe Holiday Season

December 17, 2021

It’s no secret that 2021 has been a challenging year, but for many it has also made us truly appreciate the importance of our social connection with family and friends.

The holiday season is now upon us and that means get-togethers, office parties, and nights out are in full swing for many of us. For some, this may involve celebrations that involve drinking and cannabis – which underlines the priority that should be placed on planning ahead and ensuring a safe ride home, so that you don’t get behind the wheel.

Sadly, each year in B.C., 65 people die in crashes involving impaired driving and 1,700 are injured – many of those during what should be joyous celebrations during the winter holiday season. 

ICBC and police are teaming up for the annual December CounterAttack campaign, urging drivers to be responsible and plan ahead for a safe ride home this holiday season – and their message is clear: if you drink or you are consuming drugs, don’t drive.

It is important to note that according to the Government of Canada, the percentage of Canadian drivers killed in vehicle crashes who test positive for drugs now actually exceeds the numbers who test positive for alcohol.

ICBC has led impaired driving education campaigns and funded CounterAttack enhanced police enforcement for over 40 years. Learn more facts and tips in ICBC’s infographic.

If the statistics aren’t enough to convince you, consider the repercussions of being charged with impaired driving. BC has the toughest laws in the country when it comes to impaired driving – so if you refuse to let common sense rule, consider the penalties for impaired driving:

  • Driving suspensions from 24 hours to 90 days
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Fines, from $600 and up to $4,060
  • Jail time
  • Mandatory rehabilitation
  • Installation of ignition interlock in your vehicle

You may also have to pay a Driver Risk Premium, on top of your insurance. If you crash while driving impaired, you’re likely in breach of your insurance policy. That means you could be personally responsible for 100 per cent of the costs if you damage someone else’s property or injure them.

Simply put – there are no excuses.

Allow everyone to enjoy the holiday season – because the alternative is simply not worth it.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca

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