Apr 17, 2018 - ANTI-IMPAIRED DRIVING PROGRAM ALEXA'S TEAM GROWS TO 2,400 OFFICERS


10 years after the death of Alexa Middelaer, team is still fully committed to enforcing drunk driving laws


 

Tote bags in Alexa Middelaer's favourite colour were printed for the 10th anniversary of her death and handed out to the officers who are members of her namesake team focused on drunk driving enforcement. 

One hundred police officers from around B.C. were recognized Tuesday for their work cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the road safety program Alexa's Team.

In 10 years, the team has grown from 26 members to 2,400 RCMP and municipal police officers.

The team is named for Alexa Middelaer, a four-year-old girl from Delta, B.C., who was killed by a drunk driver in 2008.

At the ceremony, officers who issued at least 10 immediate roadside prohibitions in 2017 were welcomed to the team and those who intervened in more than 25 cases of impaired driving were recognized as "all stars."

The story of the Middelaer family's loss is what motivates Cpl George Huang with the Integrated Road Safety Unit, who stopped 51 drivers last year.

"It's what drives me to be out there every weekend, away from my family, to get these people off the road," he said.

Cpl. George Huang with the IRSU stopped 51 impaired drivers in 2017 and says the Middelaer family's story motivates him to do his job.

Since the team's creation, members have processed more than 86,000 impaired driving sanctions for alcohol and drug-related driving offences province-wide.

Alexa's mother, Laurel, has been a strong advocate for road safety since the accident and spoke to the officers at the event Tuesday.

"The people in this room today represent much more than statistics. To me and my husband Michael, you've actually become friends and have had an impact on our life, and our healing, more than you'll ever know," she said.

Laurel Middelaer, Alexa's mother, helped recognize 100 officers who are part of the road safety initiative named after her daughter.

The team has seen a significant reduction in drunk driving fatalities, but Laurel said she's concerned about enforcement with the anticipated legalization of recreational marijuana.

"I'm very concerned that we're legalizing something that may have a dramatic effect on the way people behave and we're not yet there with enforcement.

"We became very aware of how challenging it was at the time to process a criminal code for impaired driving with relation to alcohol, drug impairment is that much more challenging," she

Congratulations to Alexa's Team, and this year's 100 police officers who have gone above and beyond in efforts to take impaired drivers off BC roads. Recognition ceremony at JIBC marks 10 yrs of initiative started after 4yo Alexa Middelaer was killed by a drunk driver in 2008.

Members of Alexa's Team are also looking ahead to the issue of people driving while high according to Sgt. Patrick Davies with the Integrated Road Safety Unit.

"I think we have a long way to go in terms of the coming legalization, a lot of police officers are concerned about that."


To hear the full interview with Laurel Middelaer listen to media below:

Anti-impaired driving program Alexa's Team grows to 2,400 officers


Source: CBC News


 

Last updated on: 2018-06-28 | Link to this post