Amidst hundreds of drivers eager to return home over the weekend, Yellowknife RCMP are reporting a drastic increase in the number of impaired drivers.
On September 9th, officers were patrolling the highway when they noticed a vehicle driving erratically. The vehicle was pulled over, and the driver was asked to provide breath samples. She failed the test, and was taken into custody. The officers took the driver to the detachment, where she failed in providing additional breath samples. The 34-year-old woman was processed and released, with a future court date and a 24-hour suspension from driving.
A few hours later, early on September 10th, officers found the same woman driving around in downtown Yellowknife, where she was quickly stopped and arrested again. She was brought back to the detachment, where it was discovered that her blood alcohol content was over two times the legal limit. The woman is facing charges of impaired driving for each incident as well as driving while subject to a 24-hour suspension.
Around 4:25 on Monday morning, Yellowknife officers were informed of a collision near Niven Lake access. Officers arrived at the scene and found a truck that was overturned and severly damaged after leaving the road and colliding with a rock face. Officers determined that a man was still trapped inside. The man was retrieved from the vehicle and sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. This matter is still being investigated with help from a traffic collision reconstructionist. Alcohol and speed are believed to be factors in this incident.
Another driver was also issued a roadside suspension after they were found to be under the influenece of alcohol, and officers responded to several other reports of impaired driving. The RCMP are reminding Northerners that impaired driving continues to be a serious issue in the NWT, and is a preventable cause of accidents. If anyone suspects a driver may be impaired, they are asked to call 911.