BC Highway Patrol Parksville pulled over an allegedly impaired driver, who had his seat fully reclined, drug paraphernalia in his lap and the vehicle’s driver-assist technology engaged.
Highway Patrol officers, as well as Oceanside RCMP, responded to a report of a Honda Civic driving erratically on Highway 19 north of Qualicum Beach at approximately 10 p.m. on April 14, according to a news release by BC Highway Patrol.
Police intercepted the vehicle near Cook Creek Road and found it occupied by two men. The driver, a man in his 40s from Alberta displayed symptoms of impairment and the passenger, a local man in his 30s, was in possession of a small quantity of a powder suspected to be fentanyl.
The driver was not believed to have been in physical control of the vehicle while it was moving, but had engaged the driver-assisted technology features to keep the vehicle in motion, RCMP said.
“As we see a gradual shift to vehicles equipped with driver-assisted technology, we are unfortunately encountering these types of situations,” said Staff Sergeant Adam Tallboy, acting OIC of BCHP Vancouver Island. “Despite this technology, we want to remind drivers that they must still be attentive, and are still responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle regardless of whether or not the driver-assisted features are actively engaged.”
The driver was charged with multiple counts under the BC Motor Vehicle Act, including Drive Without Due Care and Attention. He was also prohibited from driving for 24 hours. The passenger was arrested on outstanding warrants.
— NEWS Staff, submitted