Abbotsford police released some shocking stats showing impaired driving is a 24/7 risk to the community.
According to Cst. Ian MacDonald, 25 per cent of impaired driving violations happen during regular commuting hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The stats were tracked over 28 days since January.
“I think most people would imagine that you would come across an impaired driver on a back road, an escape route, and usually at night. I think this runs counter to that,” says MacDonald. “In fact, if you actually took into account the number of counterattack deployments that are set up at night, it would probably show that the daytime might be a little bit underrepresented.”
MacDonald says impaired driving is never a victimless crime, even if a drunk driver does not cause a crash.
“Anytime they are out there, they are a risk to everyone including themselves,” he adds. “These are people who are going about their day regrettably, oblivious to any safety concerns related to anyone else.”
MacDonald says what really made the ‘eye-opening’ numbers pop was the proximity of the locations of the impaired driving violations to local schools.
See the map below:
MacDonald says they have never tracked these stats before and they plan to pass the information on to their front-line staff as a reinforcement tool that the officers can come across an impaired driver anywhere, anytime.
He says a promising sign is that a lot of the impaired drivers are being reported by members of the public.
“They see somebody who is not driving very well and they might suspect they are impaired or distracted, but on many occasions, people phone in when they suspect there is a driver on the road that should not be. We have to go ‘hats off’ to the people in the community who are phoning the reports in to us.”