More police enforcement could be a factor in Abbotsford’s high number of impaired driving incidents.

Drunk driver numbers on the rise in Abbotsford-Mission CMA

A Stats Can report indicates that the local CMA recorded 652 impaired driving incidents in 2011, an increase of 138 per cent over 10 years.

Don’t drink and drive!

It’s a simple message that appears to be falling on deaf ears, at least in the Abbotsford Mission Census Metropolitan Area (CMA).

A Statistics Canada report indicates that the local CMA recorded 652 impaired driving incidents in 2011, an increase of 138 per cent over 10 years (2001).

That represents 367 incidents for every 100,000 in population, the fourth-highest rate in Canada.

Kelowna topped the list with a rate of 583 impaired driving incidents per 100,000 population, followed by St. John’s at 560 and Regina at 369.

Moncton was fifth at 349 per 100,000 population.

The lowest rates were recorded in Ottawa (87) and London (89).

Abbotsford’s increase over the past decade bucks the national trend which saw two-thirds of CMAs reporting declines.

The national average was 262 incidents per 100,000 population,

Abbotsford-Mission’s high ranking doesn’t necessarily mean that more people drink and drive, however.

“They (police) could have had more police blocks. There could be a reason for that increase. It’s not necessarily that it’s more prevalent, it might just be that they’ve caught more people,” said Nancy Anne Walker of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald agreed, saying the local force has deployed members to find and catch impaired drivers.

“If you put out resources, you’re going to reap rewards.”

But he admits it isn’t all good news.

“The disappointing part is it doesn’t seem like we’re having that much difficulty in finding impaired drivers. Every time we go out looking, we’re successful.”

Despite new tougher impaired driving regulations, which the province put into place in 2010, MacDonald said some drivers continue to make bad choices.

Drivers in Abbotsford have become a focus for the police, who have just launched a new road-safety campaign.

MacDonald said in addition to the impaired driving incidents, the community has a “disproportionate” amount of fatal collisions and collisions involving pedestrians, bikes and scooters.

“Our traffic section in 2013 is going to have more staff than we’ve ever had.”

Nationwide, police reported 121 incidents of impaired driving causing death in 2011 and a further 839 incidents of impaired driving causing bodily harm. The rates of impaired driving causing death and causing bodily harm per 100,000 population were the lowest in 25 years.

Young adults aged 20 to 24 recorded the highest impaired driving rates in 2011, based on the number of licensed drivers. Rates then steadily declined with age.

While males represented 82 per cent of all persons charged with impaired driving in 2011, the impaired driving rate for males has been declining steadily for the past 25 years.

However, the rate for females has generally been increasing since 2005. As a result, females now account for 18 per cent of impaired drivers compared with 8 per cent of impaired drivers 25 years ago.

Just Posted

Police sketch shows suspect in assault of 23-year-old woman

Incident took place Nov. 14 on Maclure Road in Abbotsford

An unpleasant surprise online for Langley anti-hate campaigner

Text from newspaper article about his efforts was used to link to suspect websites

Giants back in Langley hoping to continue winning streak

The G-Men defeated Royals in Victoria Saturday, the second triumph of the week over the same team.

Vancouver concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

Langley’s assistant lacrosse captain tallies up five goals in Calgary loss

Stealth fell to Roughnecks, but hoping for comeback on Dec. 29 in New England.

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Update: RCMP arrest domestic assault suspect west of Kamloops.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team made the arrest at around 4:30 p.m.

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Most Read