Impaired drivers nabbed in Ucluelet

Two locals were recently caught driving while intoxicated.

Const. Marcel Midlane was on patrol on June 13 around 2:30 a.m. when he noticed a vehicle roll through a stop sign without stopping.

Midlane pulled the vehicle over near Matterson Drive and discovered the local behind the wheel was intoxicated.

“There was some open alcohol found in the vehicle and the driver was found to be impaired,” said Ucluelet’s detachment commander Sgt. Jeff Swann.

Swann said the driver was issued a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition and their vehicle was impounded for 30 days.

The following morning, around 10:30 a.m. on June 14, Sgt. Swann received a report of a possibly impaired driver near Toquart Bay Road.

He located the vehicle in short order and discovered the report was accurate.  

“She was noticeably intoxicated,” he said of the driver.

“The female refused to provide a breath sample into an approved screening device, which carries the same penalty as if you (fail), so she too was issued an immediate roadside prohibition.”

Swann noted Ucluelet’s Edge-to-Edge Marathon was running at the same time this drunk driver was on the road, potentially putting the runners on the highway in serious risk.

“Impaired driving is one of the most dangerous offences out there,” he said. “Impaired driving kills people and there’s just no tolerance for it.”

Swann suggested there has been an up-tick in the number of impaired drivers being nabbed in Ucluelet but he noted this is common for summer’s increased activity.

“We’re hoping that this is a little blip on the radar,” he said. “We want people to get to where they’re going safely and alcohol and driving doesn’t mix.”

 

Pay attention while driving

Two distracted drivers recently caused two single vehicle collisions.

On June 15, around midnight, a tourist from Washington was traveling along Highway 4 when he looked down to adjust his air conditioning and wound up losing control of his vehicle and crashing into a ditch near Doyle creek, according to Sgt. Swann.

Swann said the driver escaped without significant injuries but was warned for driving without due care and attention.

“If you take your eyes off the road, it’s distracted driving,” Swann said adding most people assume the law only applies to cell-phones and other electronic devices. 

 â€œDistracted driving also includes turning around and having a conversation with your passengers in the back, reading a book, looking at a map, (and) putting on makeup,” he said.

He suggested a vehicle can cover a lot of ground in a matter of seconds and drivers who look away from the road won’t have enough time to react if an animal or other motorist lands in their path.

June 15’s second single vehicle collision occurred around 4:30 p.m. when a local woman fell asleep while driving from Tofino to Ucluelet along the Pacific Rim Highway.

“It can happen; people get sleepy, they get tired. If you feel that coming, you’ve got to stop, you’ve got to wake yourself up, get some fresh air, run around your car, do something,” Swann said.

Swann said many vehicles were on the road at the time of the crash.

“That’s prime commuting time right there and she crossed over the centre line and into the ditch,” he said. “Think of how many families are traveling back and forth at that time that would have been in a head-on collision.”

 

Mechanical failure blamed for Hwy collision

A driver involved in a June 16 single vehicle collision on the Pacific Rim Highway is citing mechanical failure as the reason they lost control of their vehicle.

The driver was traveling from Tofino to Ucluelet when they crashed around 8 p.m.

 â€œThe vehicle swerved into the oncoming lane, the driver was able to correct and pull into the right lane but, in doing so, struck the guardrails,” Swann said.

“An investigation is ongoing to see what the mechanical issues were that caused the accident.”

 

Andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca