UPDATED: Construction zone speeding sting leads to Saanich Police car being hit by an alleged impaired driver. Tess van Straaten reports.
A Saanich Police car was damaged after it was hit by an impaired driver early Friday morning. Credit: Saanich Police
A Saanich Police cruiser was hit by an alleged impaired driver early Friday morning while officers were investigating another suspected impaired driver they had stopped on the Trans-Canada Highway.
“It’s very concerning,” Const. Damian Kowalewich of the Saanich Police Department said. “Our officers are lucky not to be hurt during this. Some of them were out on foot dealing with other drivers and it does speak to the dangers our officers put themselves in every day.”
According to police, officers were enforcing speed limits along the Trans-Canada Highway around the McKenzie Avenue overpass construction zone. While officers were at the construction zone, Victoria police sent along a citizen’s report of a possible impaired driver heading toward Saanich.
Just before 2:30 a.m., officers intercepted the vehicle on the Trans-Canada Highway. Police said the driver showed signs of being impaired so two officers started to investigate.
— Saanich Police (@SaanichPolice) July 14, 2017
While the officers were dealing with the first driver, a second vehicle was seen going over the speed limit and driving without lights on the Trans-Canada Highway. When officers attempted to stop the second vehicle, the driver briefly pulled over before hitting one of the parked police vehicles dealing with the first impaired call.
The second vehicle then took off northbound and the 31-year-old driver, who had a learner’s licence, was arrested at the Helmcken exit.
Police said they “quickly gathered” the Saanich woman was intoxicated and arrested her. The officers and driver were not injured.
The first driver failed a roadside breathalyzer test and is prohibited from driving for 90 days. Their vehicle was also impounded for 30 days.
The second driver is facing criminal impaired driving charges. She also received tickets, including a “drive contrary to restriction” ticket as she had a Class 7 (learner’s) licence.