Driver four times over legal alcohol limit sideswipes Nanaimo RCMP cruiser

A drunk driver found to have a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit was transported to hospital after hitting a parked police car in Nanaimo Wednesday.

The incident began at approximately 5 p.m. near the intersection of Dufferin Crescent and Bowen Road, when a vehicle struck a Nanaimo RCMP cruiser that was pulled over on the side of the road with an officer inside doing paperwork.

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The officer reported that his driver-side rearview mirror suddenly broke off and he looked up to see a Jeep SUV careening along the driver’s side of his vehicle, causing extensive damage.

The suspect vehicle did not stop after the collision.

The officer was left shaken, but not injured.

He activated his emergency equipment and pursued the vehicle for a short distance, stopping it at a nearby apartment complex.

When the officer had the 44-year-old driver step out of his vehicle, he noted a strong odour of liquor on the individual. The driver’s balance was off and he needed to lean against his own vehicle for support.

The driver was arrested for impaired driving and transported to the Nanaimo detachment. There he provided three breath samples that showed he had a blood alcohol content of up to .350 per cent. The legal limit is .08.

Because of the amount of alcohol in his system, B.C. paramedics were asked to transport the man to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for treatment.

“Given his gross state of impairment, the time of day and the amount of traffic in that area, this situation could have easily turned tragic,” said Cons. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

The driver is set to appear in court Aug. 3.

He was served with a 90-day driving prohibition and his vehicle was seized for 30 days.

Police say anyone who suspects a driver is impaired should pull off to the side of the road when safe to do so and call 911 to provide the licence plate number, direction of travel and vehicle description.

parrais@timescolonist.com

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