Some big ones that didn’t get away ( from RCMP)
Netting impaired drivers it seems is not unlike fishing. You just have to be patient enough to wait for them to take the bait. That patience has paid off for the RCMP, who are continuing their policy of zero tolerance towards such criminal activity.
Placentia Whitbourne RCMP hooked a drunk driver on his way home from ice fishing last week.
The 44-year old man from St. John’s was one of four impaired drivers caught by members of the detachment during the week of Jan. 25 to Feb.1.
The man had just come back from fishing and was sitting in his truck in the Placentia Junction area when police spotted him.
“ Two of our guys, a fisheries officer and an RCMP of ficer, were patrolling the area on their ATV’s when they came across the vehicle with the man in it,” says Sergeant Boyd Merrill. “He blew twice the legal limit on the breathalyzer. That’s a lot of liquor.”
The man was charged and a court date has been set for March in St John’s.
Meanwhile that same week Placentia-Whitbourne RCMP caught another male in the Placentia Freshwater area, sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle, having a few beers. Charges were laid against the 22-year old and a court date is pending.
Placentia-Whitbourne RCMP landed two other drunk drivers that same week.
“ These were traffic related stops. Both individuals were not only behind the wheel of their vehicles, they were driving,” said Merrill.
Less paper work and more highway and community patrol could be part of the reason officers at the detachment are apprehending more drunk drivers.
“Our members are out there more than they have ever been,” says Merrill. “ We’re doing all we can to alleviate the deskwork and data that is part of the job so our officers can spend more time out patrolling the community and highways. We’re real- ly seeing the results of these efforts showing up in our enforcement.”
Keeping our community’s and highways safe and protecting people is our goal. It’s what our officers are trained to do and it’s what they want to spend their time doing.”
The sergeant says officers have a zero tolerance policy for alcohol, whether it is with people on the trails, sitting in their vehicles or on the roadways.
“ If you are impaired and sitting behind the wheel of your vehicle and have the ability to put the vehicle in motion and put the public at risk, you can be charged,” says Merrill.
“Anyone who has the care or control of a motor vehicle while impaired or has a blood alcohol concentration above 80 milligrams is committing a very serious criminal offence.”
Charges for care and control may include a fine, jail time or loss of driver’s licence.
“ That’s bad enough, but it’s all minor compared to having to live with the fact that you took someone else’s life,” says Merrill.
Care and control of Ski doos
Meanwhile in the past month RCMP, across the province, have also apprehended a number of impaired snowmobilers who have been operating, or have had care and control of, their motorized snow vehicles.
According to the Criminal Code of Canada it is illegal to consume alcohol or drugs while operating a motorized snow vehicle. If caught a person can be fined up to $1,500 or imprisonment for 12 months.
In addition a person convicted of being impaired while operating a snowmobile risks the same penalty as if convicted of operating an automobile while impaired.
Laws to observe while operating snowmobiles include:
• Snowmobiles must be registered to the current owner.
• It is illegal to operate a snowmobile on a roadway.
• It is illegal to operate or move a snowmobile across a highway unless at a 90-degree angle at those points where the operator has at least 100 yards visibility in both directions.
• It is illegal for a person to operate a snowmobile under the age of 13 unless directly being supervised by a person who is 19 years of age or older.
• It is illegal to operate a snowmobile without an adequate noise reduction system.
• It is illegal to operate a snowmobile without consideration to the general public.
• It is illegal to operate a snowmobile on an identified trail without a valid trail sticker.
All of the above offences carry a fine of $115 for a first time offence.