It’s no secret that Saskatchewan has one of the worst drunk driving problems in the entire country. Saskatchewan police have seen it all, but one Saskatchewan drunk driver managed to shock a long-time police officer after he was stopped on suspicion of impaired driving early one Wednesday morning.
The fact that it was just eight in the morning wasn’t lost on the officer when he pulled the car over. The driver had been reported for suspected drunk driving by a concerned citizen, but the situation was even more dire than the officer could have imagined. In the back seat of the vehicle were the driver’s children, and he was driving them to school while drunk.
When the driver submitted to a breathalyzer he blew four times the legal limit. With a blood alcohol level that high the driver wasn’t just dangerous behind the wheel; he was reaching lethal levels and could already have been suffering form the effects of alcohol poisoning. Instead of safely dropping his kids off at school, he was arrested for impaired driving, driving on a suspended license, and driving an unregistered vehicle.
After the arrest, the police officer shared the incident on the Regina Police Service Facebook page. He was so disturbed by the arrest he the details and asked what it would take to stop impaired driving in the province. Given everything the province has done over the past year to crack down on drunk drivers, it’s hard to say.
A Saskatchewan drunk driver can now be stopped and penalized if they drive with a .04 blood alcohol level. Tougher impaired driving regulations have required a longer ignition interlock program charged with impaired driving in the province. For a first offense, anyone with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .16 will be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock for two years. If they are on their second offense over .16, they’ll need to use one for five years.
These tougher regulations just came into play this past January, and clearly this particular drunk driver wasn’t considering them as he drove his kids to school while four times the legal limit. The only bright spots in this situation are that no one was hurt and this driver has years with an interlock to stop him from drinking and driving.