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RCMP nab four impaired drivers on weekend


The Whistler RCMP caught and charged four drivers with impaired driving on a single day, Nov. 17 – that’s not good when you consider that the drivers weren’t intercepted at a road block or through the Counterattack program, but by random chance.

All were given automatic three month driving suspensions and ordered to appear in Squamish court to answer to various charges.

At approximately 2:40 a.m., the RCMP pulled over a 34-year-old Whistler resident for speeding and smelled liquor in the car. He was taken to the detachment and given a breathalyzer, where he blew .150, or almost twice the legal limit of 0.08. The man now faces charges of impaired driving and driving above the legal limit.

At 7:50 a.m., the RCMP pulled another driver over on Highway 99 for driving 135 km/h in an 80 km/h zone. They smelled marijuana, and arrested the suspect – a 21-year-old male from Quebec who was living in Whistler – for impaired operation of a motor vehicle.

In the process, the suspect became aggressive to officers, and tried to flee the scene on foot. With the help of tow truck drivers, the officers caught the suspect, who now faces charges of impaired operation of a motor vehicle, resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance.

An hour later, at approximately 8:30 a.m., the RCMP received a complaint from a citizen that an impaired male drove out of Parking Lot A, and gave officers a description of the vehicle. The police intercepted, and the officers smelled marijuana and liquor.

Back at the detachment, the suspect blew .210 and .220, or almost three times the legal limit.

The man is described as a 62-year-old resident of Texas who lives in Whistler, and was arrested for impaired driving and driving above the legal limit.

The fourth arrest took place at 10:30 p.m. when two RCMP officers observed a male and his girlfriend with alcohol in the parking lot of a local pub.

The RCMP pulled them over as soon as they got into the car, and the male – described as a 41 year old from Richmond – blew .15 and .16, or twice the legal limit. He will be charged with impaired driving.

"Considering that none of these drivers were apprehended through Counterattack or an accident – a lot of impaired driving charges come from motor vehicle accidents – it was good weekend for us," said Constable Carmen Magnusson, Community Policing Officer for the Whistler RCMP. "The goal is to get these people off the road."

Although it’s often harder to detect marijuana than alcohol, if officers smell it in the car they can charge the driver with impaired driving. In addition, some officers are trained in sobriety testing, looking for things like dilated pupils and irregular movements of the eye while talking to suspects.

"If you’re impaired by the use of drugs, then so is your ability to operate a motor vehicle and you can still be a danger under the (criminal) code," she says.

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