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Saanich police catch drunk driver after leaving scene of accident

Dec 01 2011

Saanich police caught a drunk driver who has a history of driving without a licence.

It happened Tuesday night around 7:45 p.m. when motorists reported a grey 1995 Toyota had gone off the road at into Gorge Park near Tillicum Road, said police spokesman Sgt. Dean Jantzen.

Witnesses saw the man walking away from the scene.

A canine team found the man a few blocks away and the man was taken into police custody. He failed a roadside screening test, blowing over .08.

The 42-year-old Saanich man was prohibited from driving and has four convictions for driving with no licence.

Jantzen said it was at the discretion of the officer to proceed with the administrative drunk driving penalties, which include an immediate 90-day driving prohibition and 30-day car impound, instead of criminal charges.

Police have said people with previous driving infractions or who cause serious crashes will be processed through the criminal system. But Jantzen said this man did not have previous drunk driving convictions.

Effective Wednesday, police in B.C. will stop using the immediate roadside prohibitions for drivers who blow over .08 after a B.C. Supreme Court ruling found that part of the law to be unconstitutional.

Police say they will revert back to the old system of proceeding with criminal charges for those who fail a roadside sobriety test.