Long weekend revelers proved problematic on Saanich roads Saturday night, as alcohol-fuelled drivers caught the attention of police and fellow motorists.
Three noteworthy incidents in a span of four hours have police reminding drivers that, as the summer weather arrives, police will be out in force.
The first incident occurred around 10:45 p.m. as a Saanich police cruiser was travelling along Quadra Street. The officer was cut off by a Black Ford Ranger turning a corner, which then sped up to 80 km/h in the 50 km/h zone.
The officer activated his lights and sirens, but it took a couple blocks and the officer using a loud speaker until the vehicle pulled over. Approaching the driver, the officer immediately suspected he was under the influence of alcohol.
The 50-year-old Saanich man failed a roadside breath test. He was brought back to the Saanich police department, where his blood alcohol was found to be more than three times the legal limit.
At 11:15 p.m., a Nissan Maxima was pulled over by police on McKenzie Avenue. A caller had reported the vehicle’s bad driving along the Trans-Canada Highway.
The 27-year-old driver of the Nissan failed her roadside breathalyzer. The Colwood resident’s blood alcohol was twice the legal limit.
Then at around 3 a.m. Sunday morning, police were called to the Trans-Canada at Helmcken Road after receiving reports that a vehicle had gone off road and struck a pole.
A Saanich canine officer arrived to find a Nissan Sentra, a felled pole and no driver to be found. The officer deployed the police dog, which quickly picked up on a scent that led to bushes a couple blocks away. A suspect hiding in the brush surrendered without incident.
He was taken to hospital with injuries as a result of the crash. Police believe the man, a 31-year-old Saanich resident, was also under the influence of alcohol, and a blood sample was taken at the hospital.
Sgt. Dean Jantzen said it could take months before that sample is processed, and charges can be laid.
Police are looking to charge all three drivers with impaired driving, while the 31-year-old will also face a charge of leaving the scene of an crash.