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Alexa’s Team working to decrease alcohol related deaths in B.C.

Alexa’s Team members from the south east region of BC honoured in Kelowna for keeping promise to family and reducing alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths by 52 per cent in B.C. - Photo submitted
Alexa’s Team members from the south east region of BC honoured in Kelowna for keeping promise to family and reducing alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths by 52 per cent in B.C.
— image credit: Photo submitted

The members of Alexa’s Team have delivered on their promise to the family of Alexa Middelaer, and other families that have lost loved ones to drinking driving, by significantly reducing the number of alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths in BC.

“Alexa’s story reminds us that B.C.’s tough approach to drinking and driving is in place to protect families, and it was in her memory that we first brought in our tough drinking driving laws. Thanks to the many police officers who enforce the law and keep us all safe from injury and death on the road, 190 more people are alive today. The Province is honoured to help recognize and thank this year’s new members of Alexa’s Team for their service to British Columbians,” said Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Suzanne Anton.

In recognition of their diligence and success enforcing the impaired driving laws of this province, ICBC, the Justice Institute of BC and the Middelaer family are honouring the 313 officers who form the 2013 Alexa’s Team at four events held in Surrey, Greater Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George.

“The 313 members of Alexa’s Team, from the RCMP and municipal police departments across the province, have risen to the challenge and demonstrated that commitment to a noble cause can save lives and make the roads of B.C. safer for all of us.  Our objective remains to work with our road safety partners to eliminate impaired driving as a cause of fatal and serious injury collisions,” said RCMP “E” Division, OIC Enhanced Traffic Services Programs, Insp. Ted Emanuels

In 2010, The Middelaer family challenged the RCMP, Municipal police officers, and the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General of British Columbia to reduce the number of deaths caused by alcohol impaired driving by 35 per cent by the end of 2013, the year Alexa would have turned 10-years old.

The 52 per cent decrease in alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths announced by the Ministry of Justice in February, represents 190 lives saved. Drinking and driving fatalities have dropped significantly over the past three years and Alexa’s Team members were responsible for almost 50 per cent of the impaired driving enforcement in BC in 2013.

In 2012, Beirness and Associates Inc. conducted their bi-annual roadside survey to measure alcohol and drug use among BC drivers. The findings indicated that the levels of drinking and driving were the lowest ever recorded with 8.3 per cent of drivers testing over .05 blood alcohol content. The study also indicated that patterns of drug use by drivers were more consistent than alcohol use with 7.4 per cent of drivers testing positive for drug-impairment.

“It is amazing to us that when a team of committed individuals are working collectively towards a goal that change can truly happen. We are humbled by the results of reduced fatalities, and give credit to our front line officers, who are supported by their leaders and government to truly make our roads safer for all our communities—well done Alexa’s Team,” said Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s mother and road safety advocate.

Alexa’s Team members have been working just as diligently on the drug-impaired driving front removing 231 drivers impaired by drugs from the roads in 2013.

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