Within the span of two-and-a-half hours on Dec. 9, Oak Bay Police caught two impaired drivers reported by members of the public.
Both impaired drivers were caught after people called Oak Bay police with their concerns.
The first was at 5:52 p.m. when someone reported seeing a 61-year-old man consuming alcohol then driving away “a short time later.”
Police found the man on Windsor Road and it was determined the man was impaired by alcohol, though he refused to provide a breath sample.
OBPD is recommending charges of impaired operation of a motor vehicle and refusal to provide a breath sample.
The second occurred hours later at 8:24 p.m., when a member of the public reported following a vehicle that was “swerving excessively and ran a stop sign after nearly striking two parked cars.”
The witness continued to provide updates on the driver’s location, and police were able to pull the 69-year-old man on Milton Street.
The driver provided a breath sample, which he failed. The driver was issued a 90-day roadside prohibition.
Deputy Chief Julie Chanin with Oak Bay Police says calling in suspected impaired drivers is important.
“I want to thank the public for their assistance in supporting our department, letting police know the driving concerns they’re observing. Impaired driving is very important to our community and is a major part of keeping our streets safe,” Chanin told CHEK News in an interview.
“Police can’t be everywhere all the time and we depend greatly on our partnership with the public and encourage anybody that observes any type of operation of a motor vehicle or cyclists to contact Oak Bay Police to help us keep the streets safe.”
Some signs of impaired driving can include swerving or jerky movements, not following a consistent speed, or not operating the vehicle consistently. Some examples include leaving your turn signal on or not turning on headlights.
“Those are all things that can happen from time to time with drivers that aren’t under the influence but things to be aware of,” Chanin says.
Nanaimo RCMP remove 10 impaired drivers in one night
On Dec. 2, Nanaimo conducted its first CounterAtack checks and caught 10 impaired drivers.
Over the course of six hours, over 300 vehicles were stopped and 17 of those were asked to provide breath samples. Nine were given a 90-day driving prohibition.
The remaining impaired driver had been issued a 90-day prohibition in September and once again blew “well over” the legal limit. This driver was issued an appearance notice to appear in Nanaimo Provincial Court in February.
“The officers later commented that they were overall pleased with the reception they received and heard a number of times that their efforts were much appreciated”, said R/ Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
According to ICBC, 21 per cent of all fatal crashes each year in B.C. are the result of impaired driving. This means each year 61 people die in crashes involving impaired driving.
On the Island, 11 people each year are killed and 310 injured in impaired driving crashes.
Police are asking residents to plan a safe ride home this holiday season, whether it be a bus, taxi, designated driver, or service like Drive Smart which drives both residents and their vehicles home.
“Impaired driving has affected so many people and so often we have customers say they have their own impaired driving story from how it’s affected them in their life,” Tyler McLoughlin, with Drive Smart, said.