People across Vancouver Island were getting set to usher in 2016 Thursday, and police, BC Transit and Operation Red Nose volunteers were preparing to help them do it safely.
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“It typically is one of our busier nights so we do have extra officers working,” said Victoria Police Cst. Matt Rutherford.
Police say they will be on the lookout for mayhem like a downtown Victoria fight, posted to YouTube Christmas eve.
“Our Late Night taskforce will be downtown, focusing on the bar crowd and hopefully just curb the potential for assaults and alcohol fueled behaviour,” said Rutherford, adding that Counter Attack units will be out in force as well.
“People still are making that choice to drink and drive and our officers continually remove people off the roads that have had too much too drink , and again we’re just reinforcing that message drinking and driving is not appropriate and plan for safe ride home.”
BC Transit is trying to make planning a safe ride home easy. offering free service after 6pm, and extended hours on some routes in Victoria, Port Alberni and Nanaimo.
“We’re really happy to provide that service, hopefully having less people driving impaired on our roads,” said spokesperson Mike Russell.
In Nanaimo, Operation Red Nose volunteers are getting ready to keep imparied drivers off the road too
After a record-breaking Christmas season that saw them deliver hundreds of people and their vehicles safely home.
“Our busiest time will probably be from around 1230 to 3am, so if people are calling in that timeline they should know to give themselves at least an hour wait,” said Ursula Weiss.
Nanaimo is the only Island city where the volunteer-run service is offered, though other cities have companies that offer dial-a-driver services.
Operation Red Nose Nanaimo can be reached at 250-755-6969.