When an off-duty police officer needed assistance collaring a suspected drunk driver in Langley, the police response was immediate and substantial.
Multiple units arrived at the intersection of 200 Street and the Langley Bypass on Saturday, Aug. 1 after the call came in around 8 a.m. One witness counted as many as 10 police vehicles.
Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy said the officer became concerned that the operator of another vehicle was impaired and was able to “extract” the suspected drunk driver.
Largy said witnesses reported the motorist “had been driving erratically and appeared impaired.”
When the suspected impaired driver failed a field sobriety test at the scene, the suspect, a 41-year-old man from Burnaby, was issued a 24-hour suspension, Largy said.
In B.C., an average of 67 people are killed every year in collisions where alcohol, drugs or medications were contributing factors.
Police in B.C. have been cracking down on impaired driving this summer, promising enhanced enforcement throughout the province.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is not an excuse to disregard the law – it is never okay to drive while your ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by anything, including drugs or alcohol,” said Supt. Holly Turton, officer in charge of BC RCMP Traffic Services.
Impairment includes illegal drugs or prescription medication as well as alcohol.
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Canada has one of the worst records for impaired driving in the world.
A 2016 study by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control (CDC) on the percentage of road deaths caused by impaired driving in wealthy nations showed Canada had the highest percentage, with 34 per cent of all fatal crashes involving alcohol or drugs.
The next-highest were the United States and New Zealand.