Kelowna among B.C. cities selected for roadside ‘swab’ survey

Plan on drinking and driving? Or using drugs and driving? Then the province of B.C. would like to hear from you — at the right time and place, that is.

Roadside surveys are taking place in five B.C. cities this June, with the goal being to measure the prevalence of alcohol- and drug-affected driving. It’s believed Kelowna is one of the five cities listed, yet drivers need not fear harsh repercussions of fines or licence suspensions if they’re drunk or high behind the wheel while being surveyed.

According to the province, this survey, which will be using mouth swabs, is completely voluntary and is not an enforcement operation.

In fact, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor-General said, “It’s important that people understand that this is not an enforcement operation. Police officers are present to operate a modified roadblock and direct traffic safely into the survey area, but participating is completely voluntary for drivers, and if they are determined to be unsafe to drive, they’ll be provided with a safe way home.”

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The provincial government also said the survey will compare long-term trends and establish a baseline for measurement of the effects of cannabis legalization. This will be the eighth roadside survey the province has conducted; the last two were in 2010 and 2012.

To ensure site safety and sample validity, the government said police will operate a modified roadblock and randomly select drivers into the survey site. The date, time and location of the survey will not be released to the public.

It’s believed one survey took place in Kelowna this past Saturday at Dilworth and Highway 97. It’s not known if more surveys will take place in Kelowna this month.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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