Message on Impaired Driving Seems Not Being Heard

Police keep expressing that if one drinks and drives they will be caught. Photo - DepositPhotos.com
Police keep expressing that if one drinks and drives they will be caught. Photo - DepositPhotos.com

Far too many drivers are still not getting the message it is not alright to get behind the wheel after drinking
Far too many drivers are still not getting the message it is not alright to get behind the wheel after drinking
THUNDER BAY – Is the message “Don’t Drink and Drive” getting out? From the number of Over the course of the past week, the Thunder Bay Police Service were busy responding to numerous calls of impaired drivers across the city, resulting in charges being laid against 7 individuals. One of those individuals was charged on two separate occasions.

On September 8th, a 25-year-old male was observed leaving the north core in a southbound direction. Officers noted the driver commit a number of traffic offences, leading to a traffic stop to verify the driver’s sobriety. The driver was subsequently arrested for impaired and over 80 operation of a motor vehicle. His blood alcohol concentration was nearly twice the legal limit.

Two hours later, a patrol sergeant made an observation of a motorist travelling on Red River Road near Clarkson Street with heavy damage sustained to the vehicle. A traffic stop was initiated and a 22-year-old female was arrested for impaired and over 80 operation of a motor vehicle. The female’s blood alcohol concentration was also nearly twice the legal limit.

Still on September 8th, at approximately 0830 hours, a 911 call was received of a male passed out in his vehicle in the parking lot of an Edward Street church. Officers responded and conducted standardized field sobriety tests at the scene. The 63-year-old male performed poorly and was arrested and charged for impaired care and control of a motor vehicle. The male was also charged for being in possession of four different types of drugs.

Three hours later, a 911 call was received of a male who had committed a break and enter to a south-side residence and had stolen property. The male then fled in his vehicle before being stopped and arrested by patrol officers. In addition to breaking and entering, the 35-year-old male was also charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle by a drug. He was brought to the police station where he performed a drug recognition evaluation. He was held in custody for video court the following day.

At approximately 1800 hours, the fifth impaired driver of the day was called in by an off-duty officer who observed a northbound vehicle being operated in an erratic manner. Patrol officers intercepted the vehicle at Boulevard Lake in a parking lot and arrested a 24-year-old female for impaired and over 80 operation of a motor vehicle. Subsequent breath testing was conducted at the police station, showing that her blood alcohol concentration was nearly triple the legal limit.

On September 11th, at 1530 hours, a 911 call was received regarding a motor vehicle collision on Robinson Drive in which the offending vehicle had fled the scene. Officers responded to the area quickly and found the vehicle travelling in front of St. Bernard School on River Street as children were being let out for the day. The vehicle was stopped and a 34-year-old male was arrested for a number of criminal offences including failing to remain, impaired and over 80 operation of a motor vehicle, and possession of a controlled substance. The male was held in custody for video court the following day.

On September 13th, at 0425 in the morning, officers were dispatched to the area of May Street South to respond to a call of a vehicle striking parked cars and poles. The offending driver and vehicle were located at a nearby gas station. The driver displayed signs of impairment and was subsequently arrested. He was brought to the police station for a drug recognition evaluation and charged for impaired operation of a motor vehicle by a drug. The 18-year-old driver was also identified as one of the drivers involved in a street racing incident from earlier in the week and charged under the Highway Traffic Act for stunt driving. His vehicle was impounded; his driver’s licence immediately suspended for 90 days, and the driver was remanded into custody.

On September 16th, at approximately 2000 hours, officers arrived at the McDonald’s parking lot on Arthur Street to check on the welfare of a male in the driver’s seat of a vehicle. Officers found a 63-year-old male in the driver’s seat impaired by a drug. The male was identified as the very same male who was charged 8 days prior for the same offence (see above). The male was arrested and charged once again for impaired care and control of a motor vehicle by a drug.

The Thunder Bay Police Service reminds the public that consuming drugs, whether illicit or prescribed, may impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. In preparation for the legalization of cannabis, more officers are being given the training and tools necessary to identify and arrest those who put the public at risk by choosing to drive impaired.