Keeping intoxicated drivers in check

Cst. Justine Ramsey from Vanderhoof’s local RCMP detachment received recognition for her efforts in keeping impaired drivers off the road.

At her first complete year as a member of the RCMP

At her first complete year as a member of the RCMP

Cst. Justine Ramsey from Vanderhoof’s RCMP detachment is now part of Alexa’s Team, a program that recognizes police officers for their efforts in keeping impaired drivers off the road.

In May 2008, four-year-old Alexa Middelaer was struck and killed by a drunk driver in Delta, B.C.

Meeting the Middelaer family and receiving the award in Prince George last month, Ramsey says it’s a cool opportunity to be recognized by the family, of whom she has heard much of in the past.

“It’s being on the road, and recognizing the symptoms of being impaired while driving,” she said.

In 2015, Ramsey was responsible for 13 impaired driving offenses. It’s her first eligible year for the recognition, as she graduated from depot training in August 2014.

Ramsey also recently received certification as a drug recognition expert — to be able to recognize what drug a person is affected by while driving. She is currently the only certified officer in the area, covering also Burns Lake, Fort St. James, and Prince George.

Vanderhoof is Ramsey’s first detachment placement, So far, three RCMP members on track to hopefully become part of the team this year, Sgt. Svend Nielsen said.

“It’s a humbling experience for the team,” he said. “It reminds us that tragedy can happen in an instant.”