Drunk driving message still not registering for some

A Kelowna driver driving excessively fast along a stretch of Highway 97 has lost his vehicle for a month and driver’s licence for three months.

Members of the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP’s North Okanagan Traffic Services were conducting patrols near Round Lake Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. when they spotted on radar a vehicle coming at them going 157 km/h in a 90 km/h zone.

“The 53-year-old driver from Kelowna was stopped. He showed signs of having consumed alcohol. He was given a breath test which he failed,” said Vernon RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk.

The man was charged with driving with excessive speed, and was issued a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition (IRP) for the failed test, and his vehicle was impounded for 30 days.

And he was not alone.

In the past week, local RCMP issued two 24-hour driving prohibitions, three three-day IRPs and another three 90-day IRPs. They also charged three people with impaired driving and impounded four vehicles.

“People are still not getting the message,” said Molendyk. “We’re averaging close to two (roadside prohibitions) a day.”

Meanwhile, over the weekend in Kelowna, a total of 19 drivers had their vehicles impounded for 30 days and were prohibited from driving for 90 days as a result of failing roadside alcohol screening device tests.

“Five more drivers registered warns and received three-day driving prohibitions,” said Kelowna RCMP Const. Steve Holmes.

Two other motorists received 24 hour driving prohibitions for driving while impaired by a drug, while two others were charged for driving while prohibited.

The RCMP “will continue to step up enforcement initiatives in an effort to deal with those who insist on engaging in the dangerous practice of driving while impaired,” said Holmes.

“It is the goal of the COTS (Central Okanagan Traffic Services) and IRSU (Integrated Road Safety Unit) units to ensure the safety of the Okanagan’s roadways.”

—with files from Cheryl Wierda



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