Cruising downtown on the weekend

Cruising downtown on the weekend

Police stop semi driver on DUI suspicion

A Byemoor-area man has had his licence suspended after Stettler police caught him driving a semi-truck

A Byemoor-area man has had his licence suspended after Stettler police caught him driving a semi-truck while he appeared to be impaired Saturday night, RCMP reported this week.

Police responded to multiple reports of an erratic driver in a transport truck at about 10:30 p.m. on Highway 12, near the Boston Pizza. They located the vehicle, driven by a 60-year-old man, as it was being driven erratically and in the wrong lane of traffic, police said.

When police pulled over the driver, he refused to provide a breathalyzer sample to determine his inebriation, which carries a charge with penalties the same as if he had registered a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit, said Const. Bill Lewadniuk.

He said that long-haul transport drivers are often the safest on Canada’s roads and police rarely have to stop those vehicles, except for “every few months.”

The vehicle itself was seized for seven days, and due to changes in the traffic laws, the driver’s licence is suspended until the matter makes it through court.

Lewadniuk said that under the old system, people who were caught while driving impaired had an automatic 30-day suspension. The offenders would then delay the court dates, knowing they would not fare well before a judge and would continue to delay it so they would not lose their licence, the officer said.

Under the new law, that tactic doesn’t necessarily work, he said.

The transport wasn’t the only impaired charge laid last weekend in Stettler.

Another driver ended up with a three-day suspension for having a blood-alcohol reading in the warning range. The vehicle is impounded for those days.

Police responded to a call in Big Valley where a man allegedly bashed the door handle off a residence door with a sledge hammer.

The accused fled the scene, but returned the next day, and Const. Carter Boytinck responded to the complaint. The accused was located driving while disqualified and without insurance, earning a 30-day vehicle impound and a court date.

Stettler RCMP are focusing on vehicle restraints this month, with planned checks scheduled for the rest of March. They plan to check for seatbelt, child-seat and booster-seat compliance.