A suspected impaired driver in a car equipped with flashing lights similar to those on a police vehicle was found to be in possession of drugs and an imitation firearm — and had a young child in the rear seat.
Saanich police received a report about 9 p.m. Wednesday that an older-model car with flashing blue-and-white lights was driving erratically at high speeds on the Trans-Canada Highway near the Burnside Road West exit.
Police caught up to the early-’90s Chrysler Dynasty when it pulled into a gas station in the 300-block of Burnside Road West.
Officers spotted the child as they approached. A search of the car turned up the drugs and a BB gun.
The flashing lights were set up along the car’s front bumper and inside the front, side and rear windows.
Police said the lights resembled those on an emergency vehicle, particularly a police vehicle. The car also had a CB radio with a coiled-boom microphone inside and a large fixed antenna on the outside — similar to those seen on a police vehicle.
Officers arrested the driver for impaired driving. He was given a 90-day immediate driving prohibition and the car has been impounded for 30 days.
The child was turned over to a family member.
The driver could face charges for impersonating a peace officer, possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking and breaching a firearms prohibition; however, charges have not yet been recommended and the investigation remains ongoing.
“While the driver did not identify himself as a police officer to any member of the public that police were aware of that evening, he used his vehicle in a manner that was likely to cause the public to believe that he was a police officer,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades. “What was most shocking was that he was in the care of a young child while he drove while impaired and in such a careless and dangerous manner.”
He said the situation was “completely irresponsible and something we’ve never seen before.”