The Drumheller RCMP have been busy with three serious impaired driving investigations, including one where an 18-year-old driver crashed through the water main construction site on Highway 10 near Walmart.
At 3:27 am on February 18, Drumheller RCMP members received a report of a single-vehicle collision, with no injuries, in a construction zone located on Hwy 10.
RCMP members attended the scene and found a white 2006 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck in a deep trench located in the construction zone. The investigation found that the vehicle had driven past barricades, through a security fence and crashed into the trench striking a water pipeline. The vehicle was occupied by 2 persons at the time of the collision.
The driver of the vehicle, an 18-year-old male and probationary driver (GDL) from Drumheller was subject to Roadside Alcohol Testing and it was found that his blood alcohol limit exceeded the legal limit. As a result, the driver was subject to Immediate Roadside Sanctions.
Representatives from the construction company and the Town of Drumheller attended the scene to assess damages to the site and eventually the damaged vehicle was removed from the trench via a tow truck and seized.
In a separate incident, at approximately 1:20 am also on February 18th, RCMP members were on patrol and observed a white SUV, later confirmed to be a white 2015 Jeep Compass, driving at a high rate of speed near the intersection of Hwy 10 and Hwy 56 in Drumheller.
A member eventually caught up to the vehicle on Grove Avenue and attempted a traffic stop but the vehicle failed to stop and quickly proceeded to a nearby residence. Once at the residence, the driver fled on foot inside the residence. An officer pursued the suspect and took him into custody after a minor altercation with another occupant of the home.
The driver, a 23-year-old male and probationary driver (GDL) was subject to Roadside Alcohol Testing and it was found that his blood alcohol limit exceeded the legal limit. As a result, the driver was subject to Immediate Roadside Sanctions and the vehicle was seized. The driver was also issued a $120.00 violation ticket under Section 90.25(1) of the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Act for possession of Cannabis in an open package and within reach of a vehicle occupant.
Also a separate incident, at approximately 3:45 pm on February 9th, 2023, an RCMP member on patrol observed a grey 2007 Chevrolet Equinox SUV fail to stop at a stop sign on Railway Avenue W and 2nd Street SW in Drumheller. The member further observed the driver of the vehicle throw litter out the window and drive erratically including cutting off another vehicle.
A traffic stop was conducted and the driver was subject to roadside alcohol testing and failed. The investigation also found that the driver had a suspended driver’s licence and had a history of impaired driving charges and convictions. The driver was arrested and breath test results later confirmed the driver's blood alcohol limit was over twice the legal limit. As a result, the driver was subject to Immediate Roadside Sanctions and was criminally charged. Charges included:
Impaired Operation of a Conveyance Contrary to Section 320.14(1)(a) of the Criminal Code;
Operate a Conveyance while over 80 mg/% of alcohol in 100 ml of blood contrary to Section 320.14(1)(b) of the Criminal Code;
Dangerous Operation of a Conveyance contrary to Section 320.13(1) of the Criminal Code;
Drive Unauthorized contrary to Section 94(2) of the Traffic Safety Act;
Fail to Stop at Stop Sign contrary to Section 37(a) of the Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulations;
Improper Disposal of Waste on Hwy contrary to Section 179(1) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.
The driver, a 63-year-old male from Craigmyle, Alberta, was released from custody on an Appearance Notice and is scheduled to appear in Drumheller Provincial Court on April 14th, 2023.
Staff Sergeant Robert Harms of Drumheller RCMP stated “It was a miracle that nobody was injured in these incidents. Each incident is a prime example of how impairment affects the judgement and behaviour of a driver and ultimately puts the public at risk. It is disappointing to see that impaired driving continues in our communities; with that said, the Drumheller RCMP will continue to seek out impaired drivers and hold them accountable at the highest levels”.
If you have any information regarding criminal activity in your neighbourhood, including impaired drivers, please call 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.