Joint Effort by OPP and CBSA Thwarts Impaired Driver at Thunder Bay Border

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Pigeon River Border Crossing
Pigeon River Border Crossing

Wisconsin Resident Faces Multiple Charges Following Alcohol-Impaired Driving Attempt

Thunder Bay, ON – A collaborative operation between the Thunder Bay Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Detachment and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has resulted in the arrest and charging of a US resident attempting to cross the border while impaired. On October 20, 2023, at around 5:00 p.m., CBSA officers alerted the Thunder Bay OPP about a driver showing signs of impairment while attempting to re-enter the United States.

Investigation and Arrest: Upon investigation, it was ascertained that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. The individual was promptly arrested and transported to the Thunder Bay OPP Detachment for further examination. The collaborative intervention led to the arrest of Christopher Lara, a 28-year-old from Madison, Wisconsin, who now faces charges under the Criminal Code and Liquor Licence and Control Act.

Detailed Charges: Lara has been charged with the following:

  1. Operation While Impaired – Alcohol and Drugs: Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  2. Operation While Impaired – Blood Alcohol Concentration (80 plus): Operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration exceeding 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.
  3. Driving Motor Vehicle with Open Container of Liquor: Operating a motor vehicle while having an open container of alcohol inside the vehicle.

Penalties Upon Conviction: The consequences upon conviction for these charges are severe. For the impaired operation charges, the accused could face a minimum fine of $1,000 and a driving prohibition for a year on a first offence, with penalties escalating for subsequent offences. The charge of driving with an open container of liquor could result in a fine and potentially further driving restrictions.

Court Appearance: Following his arrest, Lara was released from custody and is scheduled for a court appearance before the Ontario Court of Justice in Thunder Bay on December 19, 2023.

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