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North Okanagan RCMP patrolling backcountry over long weekend

Officers will be looking for impaired driving, irresponsible campfires and more
The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP will be patrolling the backcountry conducting educational and enforcement activities over the May long weekend May 20-22, 2023. (RCMP photo)

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP will be conducting backcountry patrols over the May long weekend.

The patrols are being held in partnership with Recreation Sites and Trails BC and will see officers conducting educational and enforcement activities in BC Recreation campsites.

“The North Okanagan is home to some great backcountry areas,” said Sgt Justin Thiessen of the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP. “We want everyone to take advantage of what this beautiful area has to offer. Our goal is to ensure that everyone is using these areas in a safe and responsible manner.”

Along with an increased presence, people can expect to see officers checking for compliance around off-road vehicle use, responsible camping, responsible campfires and impaired driving. In previous years, these patrols have resulted in multiple impaired driving charges, charges under the Off-Road Vehicle Act and even evictions from campsites.

Police are reminding residents that intoxicating substances and off-road vehicles are not a good mix.

“Impaired operation of off-road vehicles is as dangerous and can have fatal consequences,” said Thiessen. “It also carries the same punishments under the Criminal Code. Whether it’s dirt bikes, ATV’s, or watercraft, if you’re going to drink or consume intoxicating substances, please make the responsible decision and do not drive.”

Those who may see unsafe behaviour, including impaired driving, are encouraged to report it to their local RCMP.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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