A man was found asleep at the wheel, blocking traffic at an intersection in Scarborough recently.
You might think the proper response would be, “Hey buddy, wake up! Get going!” But instead, it was licence suspension, a fine, and an ignition interlock (a car breathalyzer device which prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking).
Police have a checklist of ways to identify drivers who have been drinking, and sleeping at the wheel is one of them.
Okay, the 26-year-old man had had too much too drink, but why did the officer consider the situation so dangerous. Why was the man “lucky to be alive?”
The vehicle was in drive.
In other words, it was a time bomb waiting to explode onto Highway 401
Suspected DUI: Driver passes out in the middle of a 401 ramp in Scarborough, awakes to OPP pounding at his window w/ a baton. Man arrested. pic.twitter.com/dWu4oOmrlU
— Jeremy Cohn (@JeremyGlobalTV) October 16, 2016
Even if the man in question had been parked, with his ignition off, he still could have been arrested for DUI, under the care and control provision of the Criminal Code, which states that you many not be intoxicated and in a position which poses a risk of putting the vehicle into motion, either intentionally or unintentionally. Having a car running and in gear goes far beyond what’s required for a care and control violation.
This driver, then, was not nabbed for sleeping at the wheel; he was arrested for posing a serious danger to others on the road. That’s what Ontario’s drunk driving laws and the Criminal Code of Canada are for. This was a good time to put them to use.