Vancouver, British Columbia – B.C.’s CounterAttack campaign has been launched in an effort to curb drinking and driving. The campaign is a joint project of the province, the Insurance Institute of British Columbia (ICBC) and police.

“Every single year, people are needlessly injured or killed because someone made a bad choice,” said Solicitor General Kash Heed. “Impaired driving is against the law and excuses from those who would put lives at risk will not be tolerated.”

Heed said that on average, 3,000 people are injured and 116 people die in 5,100 alcohol-related crashes each year.

During December, police across the province will be out in full force checking for drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs. Impaired drivers stopped at road checks or elsewhere face a range of penalties, from 24-hour prohibitions and vehicle impoundments and 90-day administrative driving prohibitions, to criminal charges, fines and jail time. In addition, drivers who have one or more driving-related criminal convictions, or two or more roadside suspensions as of January 1, 2008 or later will pay ICBC a Driver Risk Premium in addition to their insurance premiums.

In addition to television advertising, ICBC is partnering with business and sports facilities to raise awareness about drinking and driving, and supports Operation Red Nose, a volunteer service in 17 communities across B.C. that provides safe rides home to all motorists who have been drinking or feel unfit to drive during the holiday season.

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