You’ve read about drunk driving arrests in snow plows, Segways, riding mowers, and even a Zamboni. But how about a Taco Bell?
It happened on Queenston Road in Hamilton, Ontario. A 68-year-old man was seen stumbling out of his vehicle in a Taco Bell parking lot. While he ate his meal, police showed up to determine if he was drunk. He was, and so he was arrested for DUI.
The question some might ask is, “Why arrest him for eating a taco while drunk? Is that illegal in Canada?”
No, it’s not, but driving to a fast-food restaurant with a blood alcohol level over .08 percent is very illegal. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, “Every one commits an offence who operates a motor vehicle …or has the care or control of a motor vehicle …while the person’s ability to operate the vehicle …is impaired by alcohol, or … having consumed alcohol [so that a concentration in the blood exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood.”
The offence, therefore, is the drunk driving itself. But does the officer have to observe the offender driving in order to make an arrest? The answer is no: people are arrested based on witness testimony all the time, for all manner of crimes. The witnesses here saw the man drunk and knew when he had driven in. Since his breath alcohol was above the limit by the time he was tested at the station, it would probably have been higher when he pulled in to the restaurant parking lot, since alcohol dissipates with time.
So in Ontario, and anywhere in Canada, you are not safe if you drive drunk and then make it out of your car without an arrest. You could still be turned in for your crime. And impaired driving gets less and less sympathy from the public as years go by, so your chances of getting away with it are shrinking.
So drive and eat tacos; drink and eat tacos. But never do all three. Canada is watching you.