VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s not just a concern for police; educators in Vancouver are also worried about a spike in the number of new drivers being caught with booze in their systems.

One school trustee is, at least partially, blaming the teacher’s dispute. Trustee Ken Denike tells us it was hard to get such an important message across to students when there wasn’t much talk between principals and teachers because of the job action.

“With the job action going, the principals have very little contact as a result of that. Their authority is somewhat muted. In the past, their message was accepted without criticism,” he explains.

“I think this last year, it’s been difficult for principals and [there were] difficult messages going through. We see that in terms of behaviour and other things through the year,” he adds.

Chair Patti Bacchus says they do what they can to teach right from wrong and the dangers of substance abuse. “They do that through the Planning 10 courses and some of the other personal planning components if the curriculum.”

However, Bacchus admits there are no formal lessons on drinking and driving.

“I think the school board has a really important role in terms of educating kids on the impact of alcohol and drug use on anything they do in their lives. That would be a part of that,” she explains.

So far this summer, 30 new drivers drank before getting behind the wheel; that’s almost reaching numbers for the entire two-month crackdown last year.