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RCMP boost numbers for long weekend

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The Whistler RCMP are boosting their resources for the Victoria Day long weekend to discourage some of the activities that the resort has experienced in the past, ranging from violence to underage drinking and vandalism.

According to Sergeant Shawn LeMay, additional officers from detachments in the Lower Mainland will be boosting patrol numbers in the village and throughout the resort.

The provincial Integrated Road Safety Unit will be in town doing roadside checks for drinking and driving, open or improperly stored alcohol, seatbelt use and speeding. Members of the Integrated Gang Taskforce from the Lower Mainland will also be returning to be on the watch for any gang activity and keeping tabs on any known gang members who may turn up. If an incident does occur, police dog teams will also be joining patrols.

A police dog team quickly apprehended Shane Richard in 2007 after he shot and killed another man after an altercation in the village, Whistler's first reported murder in many years.

Sergeant LeMay warns that there will be zero tolerance for open alcohol and that bike patrols have already started visiting local parks. Alcohol-related fines, he says, can be rather large.

• A minor found in possession of alcohol will be investigated and fined $230.

• Consuming liquor in a public place is $230, and open liquor is $100.

• Being inebriated in public carries a fine of $115.

• Having open liquor in a motor vehicle, even when the driver is not partaking, is a $230 fine.

• Selling or buying liquor for minors results in a court appearance, as does allowing a minor to consume liquor in an area you control.

Sgt. LeMay says village RCMP patrols will start in the morning this year to establish a presence early, and that patrols will also be visiting neighbourhoods to respond to any loud house parties.

The RCMP is also working closely with hotels this year, which have instituted their own "no tolerance" programs. Hotels will be working to ensure that the person registered for the room is staying in the room, and limiting the number of people who can stay there. They will also be watching for alcohol during check-in.

The May long weekend has traditionally been a party weekend as well as a graduation tradition for students from the Lower Mainland. However, with the additional police presence the number of incidents in recent years is well down from the past, when fights, public drunkenness, vandalism and other incidents were common.

 

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