Experts in Front Line Leadership

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Assisted the arrest of an impaired driver

I wanted to share this story about how two colleagues and I helped the police catch an impaired driver…

This past Monday I was driving two colleagues to an evening meeting in Toronto. We stopped at the highway service center Mc Donalds near Cambridge, Ontario to grab a bite to eat. While in line to order our food, we noticed that the woman in line behind us was being extra gregarious and could smell alcohol on her breath. Keep in mind that there is only one way to get to a highway service centre – by driving there!

After some delay in getting our food, the woman had left the restaurant before us, otherwise I would have confronted her in the restaurant. We saw her in her vehicle eating her food and made the decision to call 911.

The 911 dispatcher had us describe the vehicle and plate number. The woman left and we decided to follow her on our way to Toronto. The dispatcher had us stay on the line and update our position, the driving behaviour of the woman and her location in relation to us.

After approximately 30 kilometers the dispatcher said that a cruiser would be coming up behind us and that we should put our 4-way flashers on. She then let us know that the officer saw us and would be observing and then pulling over the vehicle.

We were then asked to pull over behind the cruiser when the police pulled over the woman. Another officer also arrived on the scene.

After confronting the woman, one of the officers said that the woman did not appear drunk and that they could not smell alcohol on her breath. However they were going to administer a road side breathalyzer test. The officer returned to tell us that indeed the woman was impaired and that she would be receiving a 72 hour license suspension.

The officer thanked us for doing the right thing. It would have been tempting to not do anything and part of me wishes that I confronted her directly to give her the opportunity to not drive any further. I’m happy that she will suffer some consequences for her behavior and hopefully it will lead to a positive change.

If you suspect someone is impaired while driving, please call 911 and help the officers identify the vehicle. You may be saving a life!

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