Oliver independent journalist slapped with impaired driving prohibition while covering scene of a drunk driver crash

Reporter drunk at DUI scene

An Oliver independent journalist and former town councillor was given a 90-day roadside prohibition Tuesday after showing up on the scene of another alleged DUI incident to take pictures.

Jack Bennest, owner and operator of Oliver Daily News, received a 90-day roadside prohibition for impaired driving after showing up to the scene of an accident which involved another driver, who also received a 90-day roadside prohibition, for driving while impaired.

A now-deleted post on Oliver Daily News (ODN) dated Dec. 9 stated “a reporter” was arrested around 8 p.m. for “taking pictures of the scene,” but later says “the situation did involved (sic) alcohol use.”

“A reporter for a local media company arrested for taking pictures of the scene. The situation did involved alcohol use. But the reporter was not stopped while driving, had parked well away from the accident scene,” the article on ODN stated.

Later in the article, Bennest stated: “90 days of NO coverage of fires and accidents for ODN readers.”

“BTW no comments will be printed on ODN with regard to this matter,” the article stated.

Oliver RCMP assisted the Oliver Fire Department responded to a single vehicle collision at Highway 97 and Road 7 on Dec. 8, according to the new commanding officer of the Oliver RCMP, Sgt. Don Wrigglesworth.

“In response to the question about a man being arrested for taking pictures — this did not happen,” Wrigglesworth stated in an email.

RCMP said the driver of the vehicle involved in the initial incident, which hit a power pole, was impaired by alcohol and was issued a 90-day immediate roadside suspension.

“During the ongoing investigation, and through information from witnesses, it was determined that a second driver who arrived on scene was also impaired by alcohol.  The investigation resulted in a second 90 day IRP being issued to this driver.  Both vehicles were impounded for 30 days,” Wrigglesworth stated.

“The Oliver RCMP would like to remind the public to be safe over the holidays and if you drink, don’t drive.”

Bennest issued the following response to questions from the Times-Chronicle (which has been formatted for clarity, but contains original spelling/grammar):

“do you do dui stories or is this just salacious first dale: get to the bottom of the event/situation/no incident at road 7 earlier this week?” Bennest stated in an email. “that might be your story all wrapped up in the Oliver Chronicle lol.”

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