Big Island First Nation woman Found Passed out in Vehicle Faces Impaired Driving Charge

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KENORA – NEWS – A woman from Big Island First Nation is facing an impaired driving charge after she was found passed out in her vehicle by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) on Saturday afternoon.

According to a news release issued by OPP, officers received a call for service around 1:55 p.m. on March 12, 2023, along with Kenora Emergency Medical Service (EMS), to attend to an individual passed out in their vehicle in Lake of the Woods Township.

The officers conducted an investigation and determined that the woman was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. She was identified as Shanna Big George, 44, of Big Island First Nation.

Big George was arrested and charged under the Criminal Code with impaired operation – alcohol and drugs. She also received a 90-day Administrative Driver’s Licence Suspension (ADLS) and a 7-day Vehicle Impoundment.

She is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice on April 24, 2023.

She Was Not Driving – How can an impaired driving charge be laid?

You can be charged with impaired driving if you are just in your vehicle if:

  • You have care or control of the vehicle, meaning you have the ability to set it in motion or affect its operation
  • You have alcohol or drugs in your system that impair your ability to drive
  • You fail a roadside test or a breathalyzer test administered by the police

Some factors that may indicate that you have care or control of the vehicle include:

  • Having possession of the keys
  • Being in the driver’s seat
  • Having the engine running
  • Having any intention to drive

Therefore, it is possible to be charged with impaired driving even if you are not actually driving, but just sitting or sleeping in your vehicle. The best way to avoid this is to not consume alcohol or drugs before getting into your vehicle, and to arrange for a safe ride home if you do.

The OPP reminds motorists that impaired driving is a serious offence that puts everyone’s safety at risk. Anyone who suspects impaired driving is urged to contact police at 1-888-310-1122 or 911. Anonymous tips can also be submitted through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

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