Two honored for efforts against drunk driving

Cpl. Bart Doerr and Cst. Jason Linde have become members of Alexa’s Team

Members of Alexa's Team for the Southeast District gather for an event in Kelowna recently. Included in the group of police officers successful in controlling impaired driving were two from Clearwater

Members of Alexa's Team for the Southeast District gather for an event in Kelowna recently. Included in the group of police officers successful in controlling impaired driving were two from Clearwater

Two members of the Central Interior Traffic Services unit at the Clearwater RCMP detachment, Cpl. Bart Doerr and Cst. Jason Linde, have become members of Alexa’s Team.

To be nominated for Alexa’s Team, police officers must have removed at least 12 impaired drivers from the road in the previous calendar year through a criminal charge investigation (for alcohol or drug impairment) or through an administrative driving prohibition (90-day immediate roadside prohibition or 90-day administrative driving prohibition).

Alexa’s Team formed in memory of Alexa Middelaer, who was killed by an impaired driver when she was only four years old. The team has grown over the past five years from 26 members to over 1,000 new and returning members who are RCMP and municipal police officers from all corners of the province. Since 2008 team members have processed 41,354 impaired driving charges or penalties against drivers in violation of B.C.’s impaired driving laws.

Recently, the BCAA Road Safety Foundation, ICBC and the Middelaer family honored the two police officers from Clearwater as members of Alexa’s Team in recognition of their efforts. They were honored during one of four recognition events are held in Surrey, Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George.

B.C. reports that the number of fatalities related to impaired driving (drugs, alcohol, prescription medication) continues to drop, from 126 in 2010 to 73 in 2011, and preliminary data for 2012 shows a historic low of 59.

Preliminary RCMP data for 2012 also indicates that the number of impaired drivers on the road has significantly decreased with fewer drivers being charged. Combined with the reduction in fatalities, this suggests that public attitudes and behaviours are changing significantly when it comes to impaired driving.

“As a family, we are heartened to see that there has been a significant decrease in the number of people injured and killed by impaired drivers over this past year,” stated Laurel Middelaer. “We know that the members of Alexa’s Team have served unwaveringly to make our communities safer.

 

“Improving public safety is a tangible difference that we can make to honour those who suffered loss on our roads,” added Middelaer. “We thank the officers for honouring our daughter, Alexa, in this notable way and for serving our communities with their excellence.