OPP lays five separate impaired driving charges during past week

MANITOULIN— On the same weekend mourners gathered to pay their respects to the remaining family of three Brampton children and their grandfather who were killed by a drunk driver in Vaughan last weekend—an event that rocked this province in its tragedy—Manitoulin Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to four incidents of impaired driving on Manitoulin this weekend, one of the occurrences sending two people to hospital.

On Friday, October 2 at around 3:15 pm, an officer of the Manitoulin Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) was patrolling Worthington Street in Little Current. A blue Ford four-door vehicle was clocked on moving radar doing 60 km/h over the posted speed limit. Police initiated a traffic stop and determined that the driver had consumed alcohol.

As a result of the officer’s investigation, a 22-year-old male of Nipissing First Nation was arrested and charged with the following: driving while ability impaired – motor vehicle, contrary to the Criminal Code; driving with more than 80 mgs of alcohol, contrary to the Criminal Code; failing to disclose insurance particulars contrary to the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act (CAIA); and use plates not authorized for vehicle, contrary to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA).

The accused was released on a Promise to Appear and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice on Monday, December 14, 2015 in Gore Bay to answer to his charges.

The following day, on Saturday, October 3 at around 6:30 am, the OPP was again dispatched, this time to a single vehicle rollover on Highway 6 in Sheguiandah. Police arrived on scene to find a silver Kia Flex vehicle in the west ditch with extensive damage. The driver and passenger were removed and transported to the local hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. It was determined that the driver had consumed alcohol.

As a result of the officer’s investigation, a 40-year-old female of Espanola was arrested and charged with the following: driving while ability impaired – motor vehicle, contrary to the Criminal Code and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, contrary to the Criminal Code.

The accused was released on a Promise to Appear and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice on Monday, November 30 in Gore Bay to answer to her charges.

Later Saturday evening, at approximately 11 pm, the OPP were called to assist the UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service with a disturbance at a residence on Old Village Road in Whitefish River First Nation. Police arrived on scene to find a white Hyundai Santa Fe driving away from a residence. The vehicle was stopped by police where it was determined that the driver had consumed alcohol. While searching the driver a quantity of marijuana was also seized.

As a result of the officer’s investigation, a 47-year-old female of Sudbury was arrested and charged with the following: care or control while ability impaired – motor vehicle, contrary to the Criminal Code; care or control of motor vehicle over 80 mgs of alcohol, contrary to the Criminal Code; possession of marijuana under 30 grams, contrary to the Control Drugs and Substance Act.

The accused was released on a Promise to Appear and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice on Monday, November 30 in Gore Bay to answer to her charges.

On Sunday, October 4 at around 10:30 pm, the Manitoulin OPP received two separate reports of an erratic driver southbound on Highway 6, south of Whitefish Falls. The description of the vehicle was given by concerned citizens along with the licence plate number.

Officers responded and a short time later the same vehicle was observed southbound on Highway 6 on LaCloche Island. A red Honda Civic was stopped and the driver was checked and exhibited signs of impairment. A female passenger was checked and a quantity of cocaine was seized.

As a result of the officer’s investigation, a 56-year-old male of Sudbury was charged with care or control while ability impaired by drug – contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada while a female passenger, age 31, of Sudbury was charged with possession of a Schedule I substance (cocaine), contrary to the Controlled Drug and Substance Act.

Both accused were released on a Promise to Appear and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice on Monday, November 30 in Gore Bay to answer to their charges.

Constable Al Boyd, community services officer with the Manitoulin OPP, noted that the previous weekend also saw police lay an impaired charge against a driver and called the sudden rise in impaired charges “disturbing.”

“We could have easily been reporting a fatality with the incident in Sheguiandah,” he added.

Constable Boyd recalled the period of time, not so long ago, that Manitoulin had the abysmal title of holding the province’s record for the most drunk drivers. In 2000 Operation Lookout was launched on the Island which, since its inception, has seen that number reduced drastically. Through Operation Lookout concerned motorists can call and report an aggressive or impaired driver to the OPP by dialing *OPP (*677) or 9-1-1 on their cell phones.

Staff Sergeant Kevin Webb, detachment commander with the Manitoulin OPP, added, “Unfortunately, OPP officers can’t be everywhere at once, but with the implementation of Operation Lookout on Manitoulin, we have thousands of eyes watching and reporting aggressive and impaired drivers, helping the police to respond quickly and remove the threat from our highways, making travel safer.”