Penticton RCMP warn of 'alarming' uptick in impaired driving

'Alarming' impaired driving

Penticton RCMP say there was an "alarming" increase in impaired driving incidents this January.

Cst. James Grandy said there were four serious incidents within the final 10 days of the month, which resulted in recommended criminal charges.

On Jan. 21, a vehicle passed an officer at over 150 km/hr, causing the officer to pull the offender over.

A specially trained drug recognition officer was called to the scene after the officer suspected substances were involved. After road-side testing, the driver was found to be impaired by drugs.

The driver had his vehicle impounded, and charges were recommended to the BC Prosecution Service.

On Jan. 23, an officer stopped a suspicious vehicle on Fairview Avenue, and immediately suspected he may be under the influence of a drug or alcohol. After testing, the 55-year-old driver was found to be impaired, and arrested.

On Jan. 26, a 33-year-old female was reported to be passed out behind the wheel of her vehicle on Leir Street. Before officers could arrive, the female drove off erratically down the street. Officers caught up to her on Carmi Avenue, and determined she was impaired by drugs. Charges of impaired operation of a motor vehicle were forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service.

On Jan. 29, a driver was found near Orchard Avenue in his vehicle, using drugs while the car was still running. He was arrested and the vehicle impounded. Charges against the 32-year-old Penticton resident include possessing a controlled substance, and driving while being impaired by a drug.

“It’s very concerning to see this alarming increase in people getting behind the wheel while impaired by substances,” Grandy said.

“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.”

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