Cst. Gary McLaughlin poses with Laurel Middelaer

Local RCMP officer rewarded for work catching drunk drivers

Cst. Gary McLaughlin of the Revelstoke RCMP was named to “Alexa’s Team” for his work catching impaired drivers.

“Alexa’s Team” recognizes police officers that have recorded a minimum of 10 full impaired driving charges and/or 90-day driving prohibitions under the new roadside prohibition regulations.

It was formed by Laurel Middelaer, whose daughter Alexa was killed by an impaired driver in May 2008 when she was only four.

“Knowing that impaired driving is the number one cause of criminal death in B.C., knowing that on average two British Columbians die each week due to impaired driving, and knowing that this is how our four-year-old daughter was killed is almost unbelievable and I am sure that everyone reading this would concur,” stated Laurel Middelaer in a press release. “There are hundreds of families in B.C. that share our experience. As a family we choose to look for solutions. We are working with others to make this province and this country safer.”

Since Alexa’s Team was formed three years, member officers have removed 18,810 impaired drivers from B.C. roads.

“Approximately 150 people are killed each year in B.C. at the hands of impaired drivers. Many more suffer the loss of their loved ones for the rest of their lives,” stated Inspector Ted Emanuels, operations officer for the R.C.M.P. Lower Mainland District Traffic Services. “The proud members of Alexa’s Team are dedicated traffic, general duty and patrol officers from throughout B.C. who have made the reduction of impaired driving fatalities and injuries a personal challenge. They continue to demonstrate a commitment to removing both alcohol and drug impaired drivers from our roadways to make B.C. a safer place for all of us.”

Team Alexa is run through the BC Automobile Association Road Safety Foundation. This year, the foundation, along with Surrey mayor Dianne Watts and the Middelaer family, kicked off the Alexa’s Bus campaign, with the goal of raising $250,000 to bring a mobile impaired driving testing unit to B.C.

This is McLaughlin’s second year on Alexa’s Team. Cst. David Gale, who recently transferred out of the Revelstoke RCMP, was also named to the team.