Alexa Renee Middelaer was killed by an impaired driver as she was feeding a horse on a roadside in 2008. Her parents have channeled their grief into making significant efforts to reduce impaired driving. In 2011 the Middelaers fundraised to buy a mobile impaired driving testing unit, also known as Alexa’s Bus.
Alexa’s bus – painted purple for Alexa’s favourite colour – serves the dual role of educating communities about the effects of drunk driving, and is also an operational impaired driving testing unit.
On July 3, Alexa’s Bus was parked in the Thunderbird Mall parking lot in Port Hardy, allowing people to come aboard and learn about the function of Alexa’s Bus and the impaired driving investigation process.
Sergeant Mark Whitworth, Unit Commander for North Island Traffic Services, and Constable David Fee, the Alexa’s Bus Commander, say that the main point of this mobile unit is that it consolidates the process of handling impaired drivers.
Instead of dealing with an impaired driver at the roadside and then back at the police office, everything can be handled inside the bus. Alexa’s Bus includes an intoximeter, the same unit used in a police office, and police workstations where they can complete the significant amount of paperwork these situations involve.
Fee and Whitworth say that their stops that allow the public to come onboard enhance their efforts and give a greater awareness to the public. Alexa’s Bus was parked on highway 19 on the evening of July 3 outside of Port Hardy as RCMP stopped drivers.