Driver charged with impaired; almost hit officer

Just days after York Regional Police (YRP) reminded drivers of the dangers of impaired driving through its Not One More campaign, a 20-year-old driver was charged with impaired driving after blowing almost three times the legal limit.

On Tuesday, Aug. 7, just after midnight, an officer on general patrol was almost struck head-on by a vehicle travelling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Davis Drive in Newmarket. The driver was arrested for impaired driving.

Impaired driving charges increased 21 per cent from 2016 to 2017 and so far in 2018 numbers are consistently high. YRP also reports a considerable increase in the number of drivers impaired by drugs. “It’s alarming that prior to the pending legalization of marihuana we are seeing this spike of drivers impaired by drugs,” Chief Eric Jolliffe said in a statement.

“In light of the continued warnings about the dangers of impaired driving from police services across Canada, it’s shocking that anyone feels they have the right to risk the lives of innocent people by drinking alcohol or using drugs and getting behind the wheel. I can assure our community that YRP is not giving up. We will continue to use education, enforcement and every tool at our disposal in our fight against impaired driving.”

Impaired driving remains the No. 1 criminal cause of death in Canada. As part of its Not One More campaign – which followed the devastating drunk-driving crash that claimed the lives of Daniel, Harry and Milly Neville-Lake and their grandfather, Gary Neville, in September 2015 – YRP officers are giving drivers awareness cards with artwork done by friends of the Neville-Lake family as reminder of the far-reaching impact of impaired driving.

The legal consequences of an impaired driving charge can include roadside vehicle impoundment and automatic driver’s license suspension, as well as further consequences imposed by the courts, including longer licence suspensions, substantial fines and, in some cases, jail time.

Marco Muzzo, the impaired driver who killed the Neville-Lake children and their grandfather, was sentenced to 10 years in prison minus time served after pleading guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm. He was also sentenced to a 12-year driving ban. He could be released next year with good behaviour.

Pictures from York Regional Police. 

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