RCMP officer volunteers as designated driver

Princeton’s two largest employers ensure safe rides for Christmas parties

RCMP Const. Keith Rogers volunteered on the weekend as one of the designated drivers helping out at the Copper Mountain Mine and Weyerhaeuser Christmas parties. He is shown in this file photo from Remembrance Day 2019, when he provided oversight for the annual town services. (File photo)

RCMP Const. Keith Rogers volunteered on the weekend as one of the designated drivers helping out at the Copper Mountain Mine and Weyerhaeuser Christmas parties. He is shown in this file photo from Remembrance Day 2019, when he provided oversight for the annual town services. (File photo)

The RCMP motto —translated from French—is Maintain the Right.

Fidelity to that ideal was demonstrated on the weekend, when local Const. Keith Rogers volunteered to act as a designated driver for revelers at the Copper Mountain Mine Christmas party.

“You want people to be safe,” said Rogers. “You don’t want them to crash.”

The officer, who has worked in Princeton for two years, said he has been on scenes where lives were lost due to impaired driving, and those experiences had an impact.

Related: Editorial: Princeton’s impaired driving stats are all about enforcement

Rogers’ partner Julie Nott is a mine employee, who volunteered along with another couple.

“We had a really great time,” said Rogers.

While the service was offered free by Copper Mountain, some riders made donations to Princeton Minor Hockey.

Kim Vokey, human resources manager for Copper Mountain, said the company– Princeton’s largest employer—has provided safe rides home from Christmas parties since 2013.

“We have designated drivers every year. We usually recruit the parents from the hockey teams and provide them with a generous donation. They will drive for two parties for us. They drive the team members’ car home with the team member in it, and another car follows to pick the driver up,” she said.

“We do not want anyone driving home after they have been drinking, and having an RCMP officer volunteer was very much appreciated.”

Weyerhaeuser, the town’s second largest company, also held a Christmas party on the weekend and provided designated drivers for its employees, said general manager Jeff Larsen.

“At least for the past 15 years, we have had [drivers] help us get our co-workers home safely from our Christmas parties,” he said.

“While it is a great time for celebration and festivities, we would never want the season to be marred by a tragedy on the roads.

“We pay our volunteers $250 for each party—$500 in total. He said the company has had a number of groups participate in the past, including Princeton minor hockey, the local food bank and the area karate club.

Related: Drunk driver gets hammered by judge

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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