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Victoria police kept busy New Year's Eve

Jan 01 2012

Victoria police received 140 calls for service with 21 individuals arrested by New Year’s Day 2012. That’s 26 more calls than last year but four fewer arrests.

That’s compares with 114 calls for service with 25 individuals arrested in 2011, Victoria police said Sunday.

The majority of calls dealt with alcohol abuse and related house parties, said Cst. Mike Russell.

The first call Victoria police received New Year’s Day involved an alleged drunk driver in Esquimalt.

The 35-year-old resident of that municipality was arrested with a blood-alcohol level that was, according to police, more than double the legal limit.

Traffic section officers were called to Lampson Street at Wordsley Street at 12:04 a.m. after a witness from a nearby residence called police to say an extremely intoxicated man had just driven from the area in a 2007 Dodge Caravan.

Officers pulled a vehicle over at Esquimalt Road and Lampson Street. The man was taken into custody, but has since been released pending a future court date.

Another impaired driver was also arrested Sunday thanks to a call to police from a concerned citizen, Russell said.

The combination of New Year’s eve falling on a Saturday night caused double-trouble for police.

A full complement of officers worked last night including the usual patrol watch, a specific team to patrol New Year’s eve activities in downtown Victoria, the police traffic section and the liquor task force.

New Year’s eve is typically one of the busiest days of the year, behind Canada day and Halloween. An average day for Victoria Police sees about 150 calls for service in a 24-hour period, police said.

By late Sunday morning all of the people arrested on New Year’s Eve were released from custody with the exception of a 17-year-old suspect related to a serious fight on Cook Street near Hillside Avenue.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com