Penticton RCMP see increase in drug impaired driving | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton RCMP see increase in drug impaired driving

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
February 22, 2021 - 3:45 PM

The latter half of January was a busy one for Penticton RCMP officers on the trail of drug impaired drivers.

Penticton RCMP charged four drivers for being impaired by substances in the month of January, according to an RCMP media release issued today, Feb. 22.

"It’s very concerning to see this alarming increase in people getting behind the wheel while impaired by substances,” Penticton RCMP media relations officer Const. James Grandy says in the release. “These particular cases highlight a significant concern for all who share the road. We want to stress to those who use recreational drugs, including marijuana, not to use them and drive in our communities.”

An officer stopped a vehicle clocked at over 150 km/h on Highway 97 near Summerland on Jan. 21.

Suspecting impairment due to drugs, the officer called for a police dog to attend the scene and after extensive roadside testing the driver was found to be under the influence of drugs. The vehicle was impounded and charges have been recommended.

On Jan. 23, a suspicious vehicle was stopped on Fairview Avenue. Drug impairment was suspected after the officer’s initial interactions, and the driver’s body language and other evidence suggested drug impairment.

Police dog services were called to attend the scene once again, and the driver was found to be drug impaired. The 55-year-old driver was arrested and had his vehicle impounded.

On Jan. 26, a 33-year-old woman was discovered passed out behind the wheel of her vehicle on Leir Street. She drove off before officers arrived, but officers located her erratic driving along Carmi Avenue.

The vehicle was stopped and the woman exhibited signs of drug impairment. Further testing by a trained officer confirmed initial suspicions, and charges of impaired operation of a motor vehicle are being forwarded to the Crown.

RCMP investigating a suspicious vehicle near Orchard Avenue on Jan. 28 came across a driver backed into a parking lot while inhaling a suspected drug, with the vehicle still running. The 32-year-old driver was arrested and his vehicle impounded. Charges of possession of a controlled substance and driving while impaired by a drug are being considered.

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