It appears the roads around the TriCities are safer from drunk drivers this summer.
Numbers from Coquitlam RCMP's summer counterattack program have shown a dramatic drop in the number of motorists being busted for drinking and driving.
For the month of July, local Mounties caught 37 impaired drivers, compared to 71 during the same time period last year.
Though the numbers are positive, RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung said it's hard to pin down a specific reason for the decrease.
"It seems like people are beginning to get the message," he suggested.
Nearly all of the drinking and driving stats for July show a downward trend from the previous year.
The number of people who refused to provide a breath sample and therefore received a 90-day driving ban has dropped to 25 in July from 45 the previous year.
The amount of criminal charges being recommended for impaired driving has also taken a tumble to just one this past month from 11 the previous July.
Police also note three and seven-day impaired driving suspensions were also down from last July.
Interestingly, six of the 37 impaired drivers were pulled off the road for being impaired on something other than alcohol, like an illegal or prescription drug.
The RCMP note the goal isn't just to catch impaired drivers, but reduce the number of collisions related to drinking and driving. Roadblocks have been set up at high collision areas during the counter attack campaign.
That effort has also paid off, as police saw a 50 per cent drop in crashes for July compared to the same month in 2011.
However, Chung cautioned while the numbers are positive, they aren't necessarily establishing a long-term trend, but are rather being offered as a snapshot to highlight and raise awareness of the campaign.
The summer counterattack program in Coquitlam runs until Aug. 31, but the RCMP is reminding the public, road checks won't end with the season.
Last weekend, four out of the 10 drivers pulled off the road had a novice license.
It was a ratio that troubled local police.
Novice drivers are prohibited from having any alcohol in their system while driving.
Under tough provincial drinking and driving laws, which were reinstated in June following a court challenge, drivers can receive immediate roadside suspensions, have their cars impounded and face fines up to $4,000.
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