RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

Penticton RCMP see ‘alarming’ increase of drivers on drugs

One week in January saw four people arrested for driving while impaired

If someone’s driving in Penticton has ever made you ask yourself, “what in the world is this guy on?” you might actually be onto something.

Penticton RCMP have noticed an “alarming” uptick of people driving while impaired by drugs in recent weeks, according to a news release issued Monday (Feb. 22).

One week in January alone saw officers in Penticton charge four drivers with being impaired by substances.

READ MORE: Penticton officer injured by the vehicle of an armed man attempting to flee police

An officer stopped a vehicle on Highway 97 on Jan. 21 after it was clocked going over 150 km/h near Summerland. After extensive road-side testing, the driver was found to be impaired by drugs. The driver had his vehicle impounded, and charges were recommended, according to RCMP.

On Jan. 23, an officer stopped a “suspicious vehicle” on Fairview Avenue. The driver’s body language, along with other evidence, suggested he may be impaired by a drug, said Penticton RCMP spokesperson Const. James Grandy. The driver was eventually found to be impaired by a drug by a specially trained drug recognition officer. The 55-year-old driver was arrested and his vehicle was impounded.

A 33-year-old woman was reported to be passed out behind the wheel of her vehicle Jan. 26 on Leir Street. Prior to police arriving, the female drove off erratically down the street. Soon after, officers located the vehicle driving along Carmi Avenue. Police determined that the woman was impaired by drugs. Charges of impaired operation of a motor vehicle were forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service.

Police were investigating a suspicious vehicle near Orchard Ave. Jan. 29 when they noticed the driver of a parked car inhaling a substance while his vehicle was still running.

The driver was arrested, and his vehicle impounded. Charges against the 32-year-old Penticton resident include possessing a controlled substance, and driving while being impaired by a drug. Both charges have been forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service for their consideration.

“It’s very concerning to see this alarming increase in people getting behind the wheel while impaired by substances,” said Grandy. “These particular cases highlight a significant concern for all who share the road. We want to stress to those who use recreational drugs, including marijuana, not to use them and drive in our communities.”

READ MORE: Drugs, guns, cash and resisting arrest: Two weeks in the life of a Penticton cop


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