Langley RCMP Traffic Services were out in force on Dec. 7 conducting an impaired driving Counter Attack on the Langley 204 Street overpass. “Have a plan

CounterAttack blitz shows human cost of drunk driving

1,700 vehicles stopped in Langley over a nine-hour period during seasonal campaign

Next to the 204 Street overpass median, as cars slowly filter through a Langley RCMP road check, Markita Kaulius stands beside a poster displaying 40 pictures of smiling faces — all victims of impaired drivers — drivers who never should not have been behind the wheel.

“This boy here was killed a year ago yesterday. His mother has lost 100 pounds … she can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t work. She’s just been devastated,” says Kaulius, president of Families for Justice. The group works to support families who have lost loved ones to drunk drivers, while advocating for tougher penalties for those convicted of impaired driving.

“This is Brad and Krista Howe from Red Deer, Alberta. (Their deaths) left five kids orphaned. The guy served seven months in jail.”

It’s the kind of pain Kaulius and her husband know first-hand.

“That’s my daughter there,” she says quietly. Kassandra Kaulius was struck and killed in Surrey in 2011 by a drunk driver, while she was on her way home from a softball match.

She was studying to be a teacher.

Kaulius was at the road check alongside ICBC and Langley RCMP Traffic Services to help ensure sure more families don’t suffer the same way.

“She was 22 years-old, had the world in front of her,”  says Kaulius, pausing.

“Should have had.”

As she speaks, the head of Langley RCMP Traffic Services, Sgt. Gerard Sokolowski, walks over to tell her they’ve handed out a 24-hour suspension. The tow truck, lights flashing, arrives after only about an hour of checking cars.

He says they’ll see a thousand vehicles before the end of the night, an important reminder for local drivers heading into the holiday season.

“The enforcement is basically ramped up, and we’re out with a lot more members because we’re looking for those people who are coming home from parties,” says Sokolowski.

“We’re hoping that people who are going out tonight have fun, but make sure they have a plan to get them home safely.”

Kaulius says although fatalities from impaired driving have dropped, overall drunk driving statistics are on the rise.

“It’s the number one criminal cause of death in Canada right now and we’re losing 1,200 to 1,500 people per year.”

“Every one of those deaths was preventable if only somebody had been responsible enough to have a plan in place before they took the first drink — whether it was a designated driver, a party bus or Operation Red Nose.”

Families for Justice has collected more than 50,000 signatures to petition the federal government to impose harsher penalties on impaired drivers. The petition can be found on their Facebook Page.

Operation Red Nose Langley can be reached throughout the season at 604-532-0888.

In all, Langley RCMP stopped  1,700 vehicles during the nine-hour blitz.

They handed out four 90-day roadside suspensions for drunk driving, a single one-day suspension for drugs and arrested one person and seized drugs and weapons from others, said Langley RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Holly Marks.

One man was arrested and charged with driving while prohibited as well as a concealed weapons offence, for having a cache of large knives with him.

Twenty six drivers who were given a roadside breathalyzer test, passed.

Just Posted

Strong winds to hit B.C.’s south coast

Western regions may see winds of up to 80 km/hr

VIDEO: Giants head into holidays with a win at home in Langley

G-Men don’t play next until Dec. 28, after 2-1 victory over Prince George Sunday.

VIDEO: Giants fall to Royals 4-2 in Victoria Saturday night

Second loss in as many days for G-Men, who are back home in Langley today to take on the Cougars.

Langley Gators take Tsumura provincial basketball championships

Walnut Grove outscored their foes by 30 points per game

Spreading Christmas cheer around Aldergrove

Easing the pains and difficulties of hard times is ‘reason for the season’

Some types of cauliflower, lettuce recalled over E. coli fears

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced recall because of possible contamination.

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

Airline passengers could get up to $2,400 for delays, damaged bags: Canadian agency

Canadian Transportation Agency is releasing draft regulations for public feedback

5 to start your day

Pedestrian seriously injured in Abbotsford, strong winds to hit B.C.’s south coast and more

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle and President Trump’s Twitter feed.

‘Spider-Verse’ swings to the top; ‘Mortal Engines’ tanks

“Spider-Verse” has been very well-received among critics, and audiences in exit surveys gave it a rare A+ CinemaScore.

Canadians spent almost $64,000 on goods and services in 2017

Households in B.C. each spent $71,001 with housing costs contributing to higher average

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

RCMP estimated more than 1,500 people attended the rally in Grande Prairie

White House closer to partial shutdown with wall demand

Without a resolution, parts of the federal government will shut down at midnight on Friday, Dec. 21

Most Read