VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – So far this summer, the Vancouver Police Department‘s summer roadblock campaign has caught 30 drivers with the green “N” sticker on their vehicle and taken their licences away because of alcohol consumption.  That compares with 36 for the entire 2011 summer campaign that ran from June 30th to August 7th of last year.

This year’s campaign is only half over.  “These young people are the ones who should know [the rules] better than anyone, having just received their licence,” says VPD Constable Lindsey Houghton.

Police are disappointed to see the numbers increasing.  “We have the same number of roadblocks.  We have the same number of officers, we’re doing it on the same nights of the week, we’re even doing it at some of the same locations,” he adds.  “We’re catching more people this year and that’s what’s concerning us.”

In total, the summer roadblock campaign caught 49 impaired drivers this past weekend, compared to 48 on the same weekend last year.  Almost one-in-six drivers caught drinking in driving in Vancouver this past Friday and Saturday was a new driver.

Of the 49 impaired drivers caught, 12 were given immediate roadside suspensions, 22 received a warning, six received 24-hour prohibitions and one received a 24-hour prohibition for being impaired by drugs.

When it comes to booze and drugs, BC’s laws have a zero-tolerance policy for new drivers.  “The vast majority of new drivers make good decisions in terms of being safe drivers and driving sober but for those that are not, the results can be tragic.”

Vancouver Police have reported an increase in drunk-driving cases in each of the first three weeks of this year’s summer roadblock campaign, compared to the same weekends a year earlier.