Vernon mayor given immediate roadside prohibition after breathalyzer test | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon mayor given immediate roadside prohibition after breathalyzer test

Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund (FILE PHOTO)
November 06, 2017 - 5:00 PM

VERNON - Mayor Akbal Mund says he went out to pick up a friend who needed a safe ride home — instead he was the one who got pulled over for drinking and driving and issued an immediate roadside prohibition.

Just after 2 a.m. on Oct. 28, Mund was stopped by police and asked to provide a breath sample, has learned.

From his office at Vernon City Hall Monday, Nov. 6, Mund admitted to being issued a three-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition in relation to the stop, but insists he was not drunk.

“I wasn’t impaired though, so it doesn’t matter,” Mund said. “I picked up a friend and I got pulled over. It’s no big deal. Nothing was proven. I was not under the influence.”

The mayor says he blew in the “warn” range, which indicates a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.05 per cent. For a first time offender, that carries a three-day driving prohibition and $200 fine. You have seven days to request a review, but Mund said he doesn’t plan to contest it — even though he maintains he was not impaired.

“If I thought I was impaired, I wouldn’t have offered to pick him up,” Mund said, noting he had one drink that night around 11:30 p.m.

Ben Drodge — the passenger — says the mayor didn’t seem intoxicated when he came to pick him up.

“I’ve known Akbal a long time. He didn’t seem impaired,” Drodge said. “He wasn’t slurring or anything like that or driving all over the road.”

Drodge said he was “shocked” when the officer said the breath sample was in the “warn” range because the mayor showed no signs of intoxication.

“He (Mund) was doing a good thing and it didn’t turn out good,” Drodge said, noting it’s not the first time he’s called the mayor for a ride home. “You could call him any time you want. He does a lot of that... He’s usually the first to put out on a special occasion, a shout out, ‘do you need a ride?’”

Mund has indeed offered to be a designated driver on multiple occasions. Around Christmas in 2015, he offered a safe ride to anyone who needed one over the holiday party season. 

He’s also been stopped for drinking and driving before. According to court documents, he was charged with operating a vehicle while impaired in Kelowna in 2002. He was found guilty of a lesser charge — driving without due care and attention — and fined $300.

Asked if he will do anything differently in the future, the mayor said: “I guess you’d have to look at how far does the drink get you? Does that mean anybody who goes out now doesn’t drive? Because that includes a lot of people…. But like I said, I thought I was fine, so I thought nothing of it. Obviously the device shows otherwise.”

He said it’s a good reminder that even if you’ve had one drink, you could face consequences.

“You gotta go, ‘hey, I got caught while I had it in my system.’ Therefore, you pay the consequences,” he said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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