Stories from the backroads of BC RCMP Traffic Services
Police across the province recently wrapped up the Winter CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign. BC RCMP Traffic Services encountered a number of situations during the campaign which, while amusing, serve as a reminder that consuming intoxicating substances affects not only one’s ability to drive, but also one’s ability to make good decisions.
Under the heading “We don’t make this stuff up!” here are a couple of examples of what not to do.
East Kootenay Traffic Services in Cranbrook stopped a driver known to have a history of impaired driving. When the officer read the driver the roadside breath demand, the driver refused and then tried to school the seasoned officer that his refusal to provide a breath sample was not a Criminal Code offence and the officer could only issue a 90-day roadside prohibition.
The officer chose to follow the law rather than the driver’s advice and charged him criminally with refusing to provide breath samples. Shortly after the driver was dropped off at home, he called the local detachment to report his vehicle stolen. The lesson: Don’t drive impaired and then try to educate the officer on the law – we know our authorities and what we are doing.
The next case comes to you from Vancouver Island where officers working in the Ladysmith area encountered one individual who came through a road check not once, but twice. (This gets better!)
In the first instance, the driver stopped for the officer, but drove off when asked to pull to the side of the road. For reasons that can only be attributed to the driver’s impairment, he came through the road check a second time, stopping long enough to hand his driver’s licence to the officer before fleeing again.
Rather than put the public at risk by pursuing the individual, the officer used the power of his pen to complete a High Risk Driver Report to RoadSafetyBC. A few days later, the officer attended the driver’s home and served him with numerous violation tickets and a four-month driving prohibition to remind him of his poor behaviour.
The lesson: Police recommend following directions at a road check but, if you choose not to, the consequences may be worse than if you had.
BC RCMP Traffic Services reminds all motorists to find alternate ways home if you have consumed anything that may impair your ability to drive. While these stories are amusing, police take impaired driving offences very seriously. As we have seen many times in the past, the consequences of poor decision making when it comes to impaired driving can be deadly.
If you suspect you are following an impaired driver, call 9-1-1 – you may save a life.
Cpl. Mike Halskov,
BC RCMP Traffic Services, Media Relations Officer