JIBC honours work of Alexa's Team
Alexa’s Team honoured for delivering on promise to the family of Alexa Middelaer
The members of Alexa’s Team have delivered on their promise to the family of Alexa Middelaer, and other families that have lost loved ones to drinking driving, by significantly reducing the number of alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths in B.C.
In recognition of their diligence and success enforcing the impaired driving laws of this province, ICBC, the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) and the Middelaer family are honouring the 313 officers who form the 2013 Alexa’s Team at four events held in Surrey, Greater Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George.
In 2010, The Middelaer family challenged the RCMP, municipal police officers, and the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General of British Columbia to reduce the number of deaths caused by alcohol impaired driving by 35 per cent by the end of 2013, the year Alexa would have turned 10-years old.
The 52 per cent decrease in alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths announced by the Ministry of Justice in February, represents 190 lives saved. Drinking and driving fatalities have dropped significantly over the past three years and Alexa's Team members were responsible for almost 50 per cent of the impaired driving enforcement in B.C. in 2013.
In 2012, Bierness and Associates Inc. conducted their bi-annual roadside survey to measure alcohol and drug use among B.C. drivers. The findings indicated that the levels of drinking and driving were the lowest ever recorded with 8.3 per cent of drivers testing over .05 blood alcohol content. The study also indicated that patterns of drug use by drivers were more consistent than alcohol use with 7.4 per cent of drivers testing positive for drug-impairment.
Alexa’s Team members have been working just as diligently on the drug-impaired driving front removing 231 drivers impaired by drugs from the roads in 2013.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Suzanne Anton –
“Alexa’s story reminds us that B.C.’s tough approach to drinking and driving is in place to protect families, and it was in her memory that we first brought in our tough drinking driving laws. Thanks to the many police officers who enforce the law and keep us all safe from injury and death on the road, 190 more people are alive today. The Province is honoured to help recognize and thank this year’s new members of Alexa’s Team for their service to British Columbians.”
BC Association of Chiefs of Police Chief Officer, Neil Dubord -
“It is in this tragic event that we find hope. As the representative from the BC Association of Chiefs of Police I am proud of the work done to date by our police officers. But there is still much to be done, and our level of resolve remains steadfast in making B.C. roads the safest in the country. Alexa’s memory will not be forgotten.”
RCMP "E" Division, OIC Enhanced Traffic Services Programs, Insp. Ted Emanuels –
“The 313 members of Alexa’s Team, from the RCMP and municipal police departments across the province, have risen to the challenge and demonstrated that commitment to a noble cause can save lives and make the roads of B.C. safer for all of us. Our objective remains to work with our road safety partners to eliminate impaired driving as a cause of fatal and serious injury collisions.”
Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s mother and road safety advocate –
“It is amazing to us that when a team of committed individuals are working collectively towards a goal that change can truly happen. We are humbled by the results of reduced fatalities, and give credit to our front line officers, who are supported by their leaders and government to truly make our roads safer for all our communities—well done Alexa’s Team!”
ICBC Director of Road Safety, John Dickinson -
“We want to thank all of the dedicated police officers on Alexa’s Team for their exceptional commitment to getting impaired drivers off our roads. We’re proud to be part of this remarkable initiative that has helped save countless lives. We can all do our part to keep roads safe – plan ahead if your activities involve alcohol and arrange for a designated driver, call a taxi or take transit.”
2013 Alexa's Team Media Backgrounder
Alexa’s Team - A program that recognizes RCMP and Municipal police officers in B.C. who make an extraordinary contribution to reducing the number of impaired drivers on the roads and highways of our communities.
Nomination - Police officers must have taken at least 12 impaired drivers off the road through a Criminal Charge Investigation or a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) administrative process during the previous year.
Charges / Penalties - Since the program’s inception in 2008, Alexa’s Team members have processed more than 50,000 impaired driving charges and administrative penalties.
Partners - JIBC joins the Middelaer family and ICBC as partners in Alexa’s Team to honour these officers.
Members - Since 2008, the number of team members has grown significantly, from 26 to 1321 in 2013, and includes officers from all regions of the province.
Events - Alexa’s Team members are recognized at four receptions held in Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George
2013 Alexa’s Team Stats
RTCC - Report to Crown Counsel ADP - Administrative Driving Prohibition
24-Hr – 24-Hour Prohibition IRP - Immediate Roadside Prohibition
IRP Fail – 90-Day Prohibition IRP Refuse - Roadside Refusal
IRP Warn - 3, 7, or 30-day Prohibition
- Alexa’s Team members have processed more than 50,000 impaired driving charges and administrative penalties.
- The number of team members has grown significantly, from 26 to 1,321, and includes officers from all regions of the province.
Alexa’s Story –
On May 17, 2008 at approximately 5:00 p.m. a vehicle left a residential road in Delta, struck two pedestrians, a parked vehicle and finally came to rest on a power pole. One of the pedestrians, four-year-old Alexa Renée Middelaer died of her injuries. The driver, a 56-year old woman was later convicted of impaired driving causing bodily harm and death.
CCMTA Award –
In May of 2012, the RCMP Lower Mainland District won the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) Police Partnership Award for the “Alexa’s Team Impaired Driving Reduction Partnership” for the team’s contribution to the positive reductions in fatalities and serious injuries and serving the vision of making Canada’s roads the safest in the world.
Impaired Driving Trends:
Historical data (2008-2012) shows that in an average year:
- 95 people die in motor vehicle crashes involving impaired driving.
- Impairment remains in the top three contributing factors for fatal car crashes.
- Approximately 29% of motor vehicle fatalities are related to impaired driving.
- Most impaired-related crashes (60%) occur on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
- Almost half (45%) take place between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.
- 16 to 25-year-olds account for the highest number of impaired drivers in crashes (32%).
- Males account for 72 per cent of all impaired drivers.
(Source: ICBC Police-reported five-year average from 2008 to 2012)
- 7.4% of drivers tested positive for drugs in 2012 compared to 7.2% drug-positive drivers in 2010.
- Cannabis and cocaine are most commonly detected substances in drivers tested in 2012.
- Pattern of drug use by drivers more consistent than alcohol use across age groups, days of the week, and time of night.
- 7.4% of drivers tested positive for drugs in 2012 compared to 8.3% of drivers who tested over .05 BAC.
- Levels of drinking and driving recorded in 2012 were the lowest ever recorded.
(Source: Beirness & Associates, Inc. 2012 Roadside Alcohol and Drug Survey)
24-hour prohibitions and vehicle impoundment - Police issue an immediate 24-hour prohibition and immediately impound the driver's vehicle for 24 hours if they believe the driver’s ability to drive is affected by alcohol or drugs. Police are able to issue 12-hour driving suspensions to new (N) or learner (L) drivers if they suspect that the driver has consumed any amount of alcohol.
90-Day Administrative Driving Prohibition - Police issue 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibitions (ADPs) to drinking drivers who have a blood alcohol level over the legal limit or refuse a breath test.
Indefinite Licence Suspension Program - When convicted of a motor vehicle related
Criminal Code offence, the driver automatically has their driver’s licence, or their right to apply for one, suspended for one year. If a driver has a previous conviction, the suspension will be three years; if three or more previous convictions, the suspension will be indefinite.
Ignition Interlock Program - Drivers with alcohol-related driving prohibitions may, at the discretion of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, be subject to pay for and have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. The ignition interlock device prevents the vehicle from being started or operated when the driver has been drinking. Drivers who are required to use an ignition interlock device must do so in order to keep their driver’s licence.
Responsible Driver Program - Drivers with alcohol-related driving prohibitions may, at the discretion of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, be referred to the Responsible Driver Program. Drivers must complete the program to keep their driver’s licence or regain lost driving privileges.
Last updated May 5, 2017