Unhappy birthday for a North Van impaired driver

North Vancouver

2020-09-24 08:28 PDT

File # 2020-26233

What started out as a birthday celebration ended with an impaired driving investigation, fine, and vehicle impoundment.


Last night, officers of the North Vancouver RCMP traffic unit spotted a vehicle driving on Lonsdale Ave. without headlights. "When they pulled the vehicle over and spoke to the driver, they detected a, odour of liquor," said Sgt. DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP. A subsequent breath test on an Approved Screening Device (ASD) led to a "Warn" reading. "The driver had been out celebrating their upcoming birthday. By the time the interaction was done, they walked away with a fine, and without their keys. No doubt it will be a memorable birthday, but it was also a costly one."

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A police officer with an ASD may make a breath demand from any driver, whether or not they suspect the driver is affected by alcohol. Sgt. DeVries referenced a press release issued just two weeks ago in which RCMP provided a warning about creating just this type of situation, to encourage drivers to avoid finding themselves facing an impaired driving investigation. "Unfortunately this driver didn't seem to have planned for a ride home after their birthday celebrations. We'll repeat the message, and then we'll repeat it again, and again, and again, in the hope that it will change even one person's decision making process," said DeVries. "Just follow one rule: if you plan to drink, then please, plan not to drive."

Penalties for impaired driving

Impaired drivers can be charged under the Criminal Code of Canada with a criminal offence, or they can be served with an Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) under the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act. If an officer has reasonable grounds to believe a driver is under the influence of alcohol they can use an Approved Screening Device (ASD) to determine a driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

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Driving after using drugs, even prescription drugs, can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Officers may conduct a standard field sobriety test or call upon a Drug Recognition Expert, who can determine that a driver is under the influence of a drug, which can result in a criminal charge for drug-impaired driving.

Released by

Sgt. Peter DeVries

Media Relations Officer
North Vancouver RCMP
nvan.rcmp-grc.gc.ca (English only)
147 East 14th St, North Van., BC, V7L 2N4
Office: 604-969-7561
Cell: 604-363-5584
Fax: 604-969-7587

Email: peter.devries@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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