You might be surprised at how many people you know who don’t think drinking and driving is serious. Your aunt, best friend, or even the teacher at your kids school: anyone can make the decision to drink and drive, and if they do, they can all too easily be arrested for drunk driving.
That’s why it’s not surprising that an RCMP officer in Manitoba was arrested for drunk driving recently. Although the arrest happened in September, the news was just made public after the RCMP released news about a string of arrests involving RCMP officers.
He was off duty on a night in September when he was reported for driving erratically on a highway. When police pulled him over they discovered he’d been on the police force for 17 years. Given that length of service he’d know the ins and outs of a drunk driving arrest and Manitoba drunk driving laws, so it’s strange that declined to submit to a breathalyzer and was charged with refusing the breathalyzer and impaired driving.
This officer joins a long line of RCMP officers who were investigated by Manitoba’s Independent Investigation Unit after they were arrested for drunk driving. In addition to this officer, an off-duty officer was charged with care and control of a motor vehicle while impaired, and yet another was charged with refusing the breathalyzer. One more officer was charged with drunk driving causing death after he crashed and killed a young man.
It looks like Manitoba is having a serious problem with their police officers driving drunk, and these arrests show a disturbing trend in the province. These officers know and enforce Manitoba impaired driving laws, yet they still made the choice to drink and drive.
Police always have an uphill battle fighting drunk drivers, but they really need to focus on leading by example. Let’s hope this is the end of the streak of police drunk drivers in Manitoba, and that those officers dedicated to upholding the law far outnumber the few who choose to ignore it.