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Okanagan RCMP officers earns "all star" recognition for taking more than 45 impaired drivers off roads

RCMP officers in Lake Country have been busy this spring as they crack down on impaired drivers.

In just three days, from March 9 to March 12, officers removed seven impaired drivers from the road.

“This not only speaks to the volume of impaired drivers who continue to drive while impaired, it also speaks to the effort our officers make to locate impaired drivers and take them off the road,” states Cpl. Tammy Lobb in a news release.

In addition to a bust spring, Mounties in Lake Country are also celebrating the one year anniversary since their latest traffic services officer joined the team.

Cst. Owen Hazelwood joined the detachment in March 2022 and brings nearly 20 years of experience to the job.

“Working as a traffic officer for as long as I have, you go to too many fatal collisions and so many serious crashes that all came down to one decision, the decision to drink and drive, which could have easily been avoided,” states Cst. Hazlewood.

Hazelwood’s role is to maintain a visible presence on the community’s roads and highways while conducting proactive and reactive vehicle stops, explains Lobb

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed

In addition, officers are regularly conducting check stops to track down any drivers who are impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Cst. Hazelwood’s work does hasn't gone unnoticed and, since its inception in 2008, he has been the recipient of the Alexa Team Award, a program that recognizes police officers who work to reduce the number of drunk drivers on BC roads.

The program was founded in honour of Alexa Middelaer, a four-year-old girl from Delta who was killed by an impaired driver.

In order to be part of the Alexa Team, officers must have taken at least 12 impaired drivers off the road in the past 12 months by way of a Criminal Code investigation or an Immediate Roadside Prohibition.

In addition, Cst. Hazelwood has also been named an “All Star for taking over 45 impaired drivers off local roads.

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