Local Flavour: Leave the keys at home
If you drink and drive this New Year's Eve, you will get caught.
Const. Ciaran Feenan and the Delta Police Department will make sure of that.
All this month, the local police force has stepped up its drinking and driving counterattack, culminating in its annual New Year's blitz this Monday night. Police roadblocks will be rotating to various locations across Delta to make partiers leave their keys at home.
"It's about prevention and it's about being a deterrent," says Feenan. "We want people to celebrate and have a good time, but we want them to do it responsibly."
Feenan said the goal of the Delta Police Department is to have the safest roads in the province, and that means making sure they are free of drunk drivers.
And with the province's new drunk driving laws that allow police officers to administer immediate roadside driving bans, people are starting to get the message.
"We've seen a drastic drop in drinking and driving [as a result]," says Feenan.
Province wide, the new laws are being credited with reducing drunk driving deaths by 46 per cent, according to Ministry of Justice figures.
Bans can range anywhere from a three-day suspension to 90 days and a 30-day impound of the driver's car, whether they own it or not.
There's also substantial fines and even criminal charges.
"The financial penalties can be quite punitive," Feenan says.
Given the wide variety of alternatives to driving available, there's really no excuse to get behind the wheel after you've been drinking.
"You can take a taxi, public transportation, have a designated driver," says Feenan. "Or call a service like Operation Red Nose to take you home."
Operation Red Nose is volunteer service that offers holiday party-goers a safe ride home in their own car. The service is provided free of charge, although donations are appreciated.
Feenan stresses how important it is to make your plans for how you are getting home, before you start drinking.
If you plan to stay sober, here's a delicious mocktail recipe for alcohol-free mojitos.
• To book a safe ride home this New Years's Eve with Operation Red Nose, call 604-943-0460.
Non-alcoholic mojito mocktails
• 2 cups water
• 1 1/2 cups white sugar
• 2 cups mint leaves, chopped
• 2 cups lime sherbet, softened
• 1 cup lime juice
• 1 cup water
• 8 cups club soda
• lime slices for garnish
1. Combine two cups water and the sugar in a microwave-safe bowl; heat in microwave on High for five minutes. Stir the mint into the water; let stand for five minutes. Strain and discard the mint leaves from the syrup; set aside.
2. Stir the lime sherbet, lime juice, and 1 cup water together in a large pitcher until well combined. Pour the mint-infused syrup into the mixture. Add club soda and stir. Serve over ice.
Garnish with lime slices. Recipe makes 14 cups