Gatineau police make seven impaired driving arrests in nine hours
With an increase of impaired driving arrests, Gatineau police encourage residents to plan their trips and arrange alternative transportation if they will be consuming alcohol or drugs. Between 9:30 pm on August 25 and 6:00 am on August 26, police arrested seven individuals for impaired driving by either alcohol or drugs.
In each case, various charges were submitted to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP), depending on the situation. Charges range from impaired driving, driving with more than 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, refusal to take a breathalyzer test, and driving under the influence of drugs. In each case, the driver's license was suspended for 90 days and the vehicle was seized for 30 days.
The first incident occurred around 9:30 pm on August 25 in Gatineau at the intersection of Guay and Du Vigneau streets. The driver, intercepted by police, tried to flee but the vehicle was located on Migneault street, heavily damaged. The driver, a 37-year-old man, refused to take a breathalyzer test.
Later on, at 12:15 am, a citizen reported a vehicle driving erratically near the intersection of des Allumettières and des Grives boulevards. Gatineau police were able to arrest the driver, a 27-year-old man from Val-des-Monts, who had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.
Soon after, at 12:30 am police saw a vehicle driving erratically on Montée Paiement near the intersection of Boulevard La Vérendrye Est. After intercepting the vehicle, the 23-year-old driver from Cantley showed signs for drug intoxication, was arrested, and ordered to submit to an evaluation.
Shortly before 1:00 am, a citizen contacted police for assistance following a collision, which took place at the intersection of Lionel-Groulx and Monseigneur-Forbes streets in Gatineau. According to police, the individual, a 42-year-old woman in the other vehicle involved in the collision, was intoxicated. Tests indicated that her alcohol levels were almost double the legal limit.
The fifth arrest took place at approximately 1:30 am when police responded to a call from a witness who observed a vehicle colliding with a concrete block at Promenade du Portage near the intersection of Saint-Jacques Street. Police arrested the driver, a 22-year-old man from Gatineau, and transported him to the station where a breathalyzer test was done. The test indicated that the driver was twice the legal limit. In addition to charges submitted to the DPCP, the young man was issued statements of offense under the Quebec Highway Safety Code.
A few hours later, at approximately 5:00 am, a citizen reported an individual attempting to take an electric scooter on Maloney Boulevard East. Gatineau Police located the suspect, a 29-year-old man, who was very cooperative. After investigating the scene, authorities determined that the man had been in a collision with a fence not far from where he was arrested. The suspect was twice the legal limit. In addition to the usual impaired driving charges, a charge of attempted theft was submitted to the DPCP.
The final arrest in the nine-hour period took place shortly before 6:00 am in the Hull sector. Authorities intercepted a speeding vehicle equipped with blue and red flashing lights on Alexandre Taché Boulevard. After noticing signs of intoxication, the 33-year-old driver was ordered to submit to a breathalyzer test. The results showed that the driver was more than twice the allowable limit. The vehicle's lights were taken by police as only they can be equipped with this type of lights.
According to SAAQ data, the risk of a fatal accident is 4.5 times higher for a driver with a blood alcohol level of 50 to 80 mg/100 ml of blood than for a sober driver. The annual police report indicates that in 2022, there were 174 recorded incidents of driving under the influence of alcohol. These numbers reflect those of the previous years. However, last year there was a recorded increase in drug related impaired driving incidents. Specifically, 27 more than in 2021 for a total of 74 incidents in 2022.