When a police officer’s lights are flashing in your rear window and you’ve been drinking and driving, what do you do? Some people will panic and hit the gas pedal to try to evade the police and a drunk driving charge, while most will pull over immediately and accept their fate.
Another tactic that’s not as commonly used when you’re potentially facing a drunk driving charge is the classic old fashioned switcheroo method. That’s when the driver, someone who has been drinking, senses that he or she is about to be charged with drunk driving and switches seats with the passenger, someone who may be sober but probably isn’t. In the case of two Edson, Alberta men, the passenger who switched with the driver was just as drunk.
An RCMP officer pulled the men over during a routine traffic stop, but before he could approach the vehicle, the two men switched spots in the car. The officer said he could tell something was up because the engine was revving while parked at the traffic stop.
Both drivers are on the hook for several Alberta drunk driving charges. The passenger that was driving will be charged with impaired care or control of a motor vehicle, impaired care and control of a motor vehicle over the legal blood limit, and obstructing a police officer. The driver who switched at the last minute received a similar set of charges.
When a person receives a drunk driving charge in Alberta, he or she is required to install an ignition interlock in any vehicle they drive. In this case, both men will be joining the ignition interlock program in the near future.
Maybe getting caught drunk driving and both receiving a drunk driving charge will be enough to stop these two from getting behind the wheel after drinking, but if it’s not, at least they have ignition interlocks to stop another switcheroo or any other evasive maneuver in the future.