Alexa’s Team program combats impaired driving

Over the past decade, a program called Alexa’s Team has emerged to help combat influenced driving.

Over the past decade, a program called Alexa’s Team has emerged to help combat influenced driving by recognizing RCMP and police officers who see driving under the influence as a major issue. The program was initiated after a hit and run in Delta that resulted in the death of a young girl.

“Over the last 10 years, there has been something developed called Alexa’s Team. There was an impaired driver who hit a little girl.  The driver fled and left the girl at the scene and she died,” said Sgt. Will Thien of the Elk Valley RCMP.

It took a lot of resources to catch the driver who struck and killed Alexa Middelaer.

“The lady fled the scene.  It took Delta police a very long time to find who the person may be,” said Thien. “They ended up having to do an undercover operation to find her. It was all over the media, yeah, she got convicted for it, but it took a lot of resources to do it.”

This unfortunate event moved lawmakers into taking a more aggressive stance on driving under the influence and the regulation of influencing substances.

“I think that prompted lawmakers and the legislative assembly who were looking at driving under the influence to say this has got to stop.  The current government talks about legalizing marijuana; if it is legal you won’t get a peep from the police,” said Thien. “Alcohol is legal too, but it is regulated. Impaired driving has always been an issue, I think we need to swallow our pride and admit that alcohol impaired driving is an issue for everybody.”

Alexa’s Team uses the same principles and techniques to fight influenced driving. Breath administrations, or breathalyzers tests do give some flexibility to officers. If a drive blows over the legal blood alcohol content amount, what Thien refers to as 80, or 0.8, there are automatic punishments in place.

“If someone gets hurt we will go with a criminal charge for sure. If you blow a fail immediately, that means you’re over 100. If you blow an 80 then you’ll get a warrant instead of a fail. The instrument has been calibrated to allow leeway,” said Thien. “When the officer administers one on the side of the highway and you breathe into it, we have the option to do a second test to make sure that the first instrument is not out of wack.  If you fail both the first and the second that tells us that you are well over 100mg per cent in your body, that’s 20 per cent over the legal limit.  By 81 per cent, you are legally drunk. “

Alexa’s Team is another way to help combat intoxicated driving, specifically driving under the influence of alcohol. While the program may not have specifically evoked any new laws against driving under the influence, it helps officers be more aggressive against this sort of dangerous behaviour.

“They are encouraged to see impaired driving as a big issue and be proactive.  A lot has come out of that program, there is an award now where you can get on Alexa’s Team,” said Thien. “It determines how proactive you are with stopping impaired drivers. Quite a few of the local [Elk Valley] RCMP officers have been on the team for the past few years.”


Just Posted

Peanut Butter Campaign supports local food banks

Both Save On Foods in Fernie and Overwaitea in Sparwood participated in… Continue reading

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Rumble In The Rockies brings live boxing back to Fernie

Local boxer, Dylan Mitchell takes first career win at home

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Most Read