News

Drunk driver rams through drinking-driving roadblock

A drunk driver plowed through a Saanich police Counterattack roadblock early Sunday morning, nearly striking a number of officers.

At around 1:30 a.m. on Canada Day, a northbound 2003 Nissan Murano approached the roadblock, in the 3400 block of Blanshard St. (between Cloverdale and Saanich roads). An officer in his car warned his colleagues by blaring an air horn when it became apparent the Nissan wasn’t slowing down.

The Murano rammed through the roadblock, barely avoiding officers and a vehicle, said Sgt. Dean Jantzen. One officer had to squeeze himself against a car to avoid being hit.

Two Saanich cruisers quickly boxed in the car on Saanich Road. Jantzen said the driver pulled over fairly quickly when he realized he wasn't getting away.

"Thankfully no one was injured," he said. "The air horn got everyone out of the way."

The driver, 30-year-old Victoria resident, failed a roadside breath test, and failed a second breath test at Saanich police headquarters. His blood-alcohol was about double the legal limit, police say. He was alone in the car.

The man had an international driver's licence, but Jantzen said its not clear if it was still valid to drive. He doesn't have a B.C. driver's licence, wasn't known to police and is likely a foreign resident.

Jantzen said drivers blowing through roadblocks is rare, but it has happened through the years. It's far more likely for drivers to divert over medians, veer into side streets or make dramatic U-turns when confronted with a drinking-driving roadblock.

"Deliberately crashing through a roadblock is unusual. It's far more typical for people to divert or try to bluff their way through," Jantzen said.

The driver faces charges of impaired driving and dangerous driving. He was released on the promise to appear in court later this summer.

editor@saanichnews.com

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