From left to right, Jenn Ansdell, Dave McCloskey, and Sarina Perneel, volunteering with Operation Red Nose . Dave has been volunteering for the past four years. It's a cause he's passionate about because nine years ago he was charged with impaired driving over the holiday season. He gave up drinking that day and has since dedicated most of his time to spreading awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Port Moody’s Dave McCloskey hasn’t had a drink since he got pulled over for impaired driving nine years ago.

After a night at the pub Dec. 24, 2006, he figured he’d be OK to drive because he’d stopped drinking at 1 a.m. and taken a quick nap in his car. At 3:30 a.m. he started to head home — at 30 kilometres an hour.

He was pulled over for impaired driving and had to go to court. Legal fees and the fine cost him about $8,000.

“I was lucky enough that there was no accident ... but I had to go through the entire process of realizing the mistake I made,” said McCloskey, who’s now a dedicated volunteer with Operation Red Nose and will be offering by-donation rides home this New Year’s Eve.

“I learned my selfish decisions could have had a greater impact. One bad mistake can lead to so many more ramifications.”

According to Vancouver Police Department spokesman Randy Fincham, officers have issued a total of 1,030 immediate roadside prohibitions for impaired driving this year.

While Vancouver has seen a drastic drop in drunk driving over the past 10 years, “We’re still getting impaired drivers — which is too many,” said Fincham.

The VPD is in the midst of its annual holiday campaign against drunk driving, which runs regular roadblocks from Nov. 28 into the New Year. It’s so far tested the blood alcohol level of 591 drivers, more than 80 of whom have blown above the legal limit.

“If you’re impaired you’re putting somebody else’s life at risk,” said Fincham, adding that there’s also the risk of losing your licence and having your vehicle impounded if your blood alcohol level is above 0.05.

“If you’re going to be consuming any drugs or alcohol, do not be a driver.

“It’s not worth it. It’s a horrible way to start your New Year.”

The VPD is encouraging the public to report drunk drivers and take advantage of safe rides home offered throughout the city.

The City of Vancouver has authorized an extra 58 taxi licences to operate during the holiday season and transit is free from 5 p.m. Thursday until 5 a.m. Friday morning.

While Operation Red Nose doesn’t operate in Vancouver, the by-donation service (all proceeds go to local youth charities) does serve outlying areas and other communities across B.C.

New Year’s Eve is its busiest night of the year, so you need to call up to two hours in advance. Visit to find out if its available in your area.

Source: The Province


Last updated on: 2016-01-08 | Link to this post