Province acknowledges Mountie’s efforts to take drunk drivers off the road


For the third straight year, Powell River RCMP constable Anthony Stewart has been named to Alexa’s Team, a province-wide initiative to remove drunk drivers from the road.

Four-year-old Alexa Middelaer was killed by a drunk driver in 2008 while feeding a horse at the side of rural road in Ladner, BC.

In 2010, the same year driver Carol Berner was convicted of impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving, Alexa’s parents challenged police across the province and the BC government to do a better job taking impaired drivers off the road. They wanted to see the number of alcohol-related deaths drop by 35 per cent in three years.

In 2010, the provincial government brought in the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) which the province says has reduced alcohol-related deaths on BC roads by at least 50 per cent and saved more than 250 lives last year.

Stewart, a 10-year veteran of the RCMP, would not go into specific numbers of how many impaired drivers he has dealt with, though he did say there is no one particular age group that stands out and it is just as common for him to process an impaired driver midday during the week as it is on the weekends.

“I like getting [impaired drivers] off the road; stopping them,” said Stewart, adding that he is disappointed in how many arrests he has had to make over the years.

“I’d like to see that change,” he said. “I’d like to not make the team.”

Stewart said while he encourages the public to report drunk drivers to the police, it has been a reliance of staying alert and watching for “all the little things,” and luck while on the road which has led him to his arrests and tickets.

Fellow Powell River RCMP constable Tim Kenning said the community should be proud to have Stewart “going the extra mile” to keep residents safe from drunk drivers.

“It’s an honour to have a member of Alexa’s Team in the detachment,” said Kenning. “This takes not only hard work, but also pride in one’s work.”

Stewart added that while he is being recognized for his efforts, his fellow mounties in Powell River are all committed to taking impaired drivers off the road.

Source: Powell River Peak


Last updated on: 2016-04-27 | Link to this post