The number of impaired drivers taken off the road in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region in December more than tripled the total from 2017.
December 2018 saw 13 impaired drivers removed from the road by the Oceanside RCMP, up from three in 2017 and nine in 2016.
Sgt. Stephen Rose with the Oceanside RCMP said the stats reflect criminal code impairment, refusal of a breathalyzer test and immediate roadside prohibitions (three, seven, 30 and 90 days).
“Impaired driving occurs at all times, however, the increased enforcement during the Christmas season tends to lead to increased apprehensions,” Rose said.
Statistics from the Central Vancouver Island Traffic Services (CVITS), who patrol outside city limits and all the way to Tofino and Ucluelet, show eight drivers removed from roads in December 2018. Two were 24-hour roadside prohibitions for drug use, three were three-day prohibitions and three were 90 day prohibitions.
The 2018 number decreased from 13 impaired drivers removed from roads in 2017 and nine in 2016.
Sgt. Darrin Ramey, unit commander for CVITS, said the difference in numbers is reflective of how many hours the service put into impaired enforcement.
Province wide, 1,286 drivers received alcohol and drug related immediate roadside prohibitions in October 2018 (the most recent data from the province).