Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP officers are concerned about the number of drinking drivers they’ve encountered recently, highlighted by a serious incident in Lumby.
On March 17, just before 8 p.m., officers from North Okanagan Traffic Services were in an unmarked police vehicle in the area of Highway 6 and Shuswap Avenue when they noticed an eastbound mini-van fail to stop for the stop sign.
“The vehicle then travelled at a high rate of speed northbound on Shuswap Avenue coming to a stop in front of the Lumby RCMP detachment,” said RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.
“In a crazy turn of events, the driver got out of the vehicle and began walking down the middle of Shuswap Avenue southbound. He then got back in the van and took off again.”
Officers decided they needed to check the vehicle, and finally got it stopped in the 200 block of Mabel Lake Road.
A check of the vehicle found five occupants: three adults, all under the influence of liquor, said Molendyk, and two children that were appropriately strapped in their respective car seats.
“After speaking to the 29-year-old male driver, he was arrested for impaired driving and given a 90-day IRP (Immediate Roadside Prohibition), said Molendyk.
“He became combative with the two officers. He was subdued and taken into custody.”
Further charges are pending against the man.
The officers, said Molendyk, were very concerned for the safety of the children as the two women were intoxicated as well.
The officers called the ministry of children and family development and arrangements were made for maternal grandparents to come and pick up the children.
“In a case like this, the children in the vehicle could certainly have been put at risk,” said Molendyk.