British Columbia

Vancouver party limo operator fined $27K for carrying minors with alcohol on board

A Vancouver party limousine operator was fined $27,000 and is facing further fines totaling $50,000 after police officers stopped a vehicle carrying 18 minors with alcohol on board Friday night.

Penalty comes days after province announces stiffer penalties for operators

In a November pre-holiday safety check, officers issued 36 violations tickets and pulled five limos off the road, according to VPD Sgt. Mark Christensen. (Christer Waara/CBC)

A Vancouver party limousine operator was fined $27,000 and is facing further fines totalling $50,000 — after police officers stopped a vehicle carrying 18 minors with alcohol on board.

Vancouver police spokesperson Aaron Roed says officers working with the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) were conducting random holiday safety checks when the limousine was pulled over at 8:40 pm PT on the 600 block of Georgia Street.

"Alcohol was seized," said Roed. "There are no charges recommended for the minors," he said.

The limo company has received warnings in the past, according to Roed. It's licence is now being reviewed by the PTB.

Signed waivers were seized from the limo, and the PTB is investigating their validity, according to Roed. Minors must have consent forms signed by parents or guardians when travelling in party limos and buses.

VPD officer Mark Christensen, who assisted the PTB Friday night,  tweeted the limo operator was fined $27,000 but due to the ongoing investigation, says the operator now faces the maximum fine of $50,000.

The penalty comes just days after the province announced stiffer measures for the party bus industry that include:

  • Additional enforcement officers and increased roadside checks.
  • Increased fines for all party buses and commercial vehicles that do not display valid decals showing they have passed a safety inspection.
  • Safety monitors trained in first aid and able to administer naloxone, when unaccompanied minors travel in a party bus or limousine.
  • Consent forms from parents and guardians when minors are on board.

Those measures went into force in September, 2019.

In September, Surrey RCMP pulled over a party bus with 40 drunk teens inside. 

Police said they were acting on a tip that young people were paying a fee and being permitted to drink alcohol on board.

Open liquor was found on the bus, according to police, and all of those inside were between the ages of 15 and 18.

In 2016, a 23-year-old woman died after falling out of an open door on a party bus en route from Langley, B.C., to Vancouver.

Enforcement officers have conducted more checks so far this year than in the past three years combined, according to the PTB.

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