THIS year will mark the 10th anniversary since four-year-old Alexa Middelaer of Ladner was killed by an impaired driver in Delta. Since then, Delta Police have worked diligently to take impaired drivers off the road. This year, 10 Delta Police officers are being named to Alexa’s Team for their work in issuing Immediate Roadside Prohibitions (IRP) and IRP warnings.
Alexa was a vibrant, blond little girl whose life was taken by a drunk driver in May 2008 in Delta. The driver, a 56-year-old woman, was later convicted of drunk driving. This tragedy left Alexa’s family ever changed and had a deep impact on the community.
“The Delta Police officers named to Alexa’s Team this year removed 210 impaired drivers off Delta Roads in 2017,” says Superintendent Harj Sidhu, who is in charge of front line policing in Delta. “Those are 210 drivers who were at significant risk of being in a crash, and injuring or even killing themselves and other innocent people.”
One officer in particular, Constable Taylor Armstrong, made a particularly noteworthy contribution, taking 38 impaired drivers off the road last year.
Laurel and Michael Middelaer, Alexa’s parents, have worked tirelessly to bring awareness to, and incite change around, drinking and driving and impaired driving laws since their daughter’s death. They have spearheaded changes to provincial drinking and driving legislation bringing greater penalties to those who choose to drink and drive with the express purpose of reducing the number of drunk drivers on our roadways.
“Officers across the province are working hard to prevent tragedies, similar to the one that took Alexa Middelaer at such a young age,” says Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee “It’s been nearly 10 years, but it’s so important to see her legacy live on through the officers who are named to Alexa’s Team.”
In order to qualify to be named to Alexa’s team, a police officer has to have taken at least 12 impaired drivers off the road either through the Criminal Code charge or through Immediate Roadside Prohibition process in the previous year.