An RCMP officer had a difficult time getting out of his patrol car after it was sideswiped by a drunk driver in Nanaimo on Wednesday, April 28. (Photo submitted)

An RCMP officer had a difficult time getting out of his patrol car after it was sideswiped by a drunk driver in Nanaimo on Wednesday, April 28. (Photo submitted)

Drunk driver arrested after sideswiping RCMP cruiser in Nanaimo

Driver sent to hospital after breath samples were measured at four times the blood-alcohol limit

An allegedly impaired driver was arrested after sideswiping a RCMP patrol car this week.

The incident happened at about 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, near the intersection of Bowen Road and Dufferin Crescent, where an officer was pulled over on the side of the road.

“The next thing he knows, he feel a jar on his vehicle and he sees his driver’s-side rear-view mirror being blown off his car followed by a Jeep SUV taking out the side of his vehicle,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

The officer turned on his lights and siren and pulled the SUV over. O’Brien said the damage to the police car was significant enough that the officer had to hammer his shoulder against his door several times before it would open and he could get out of the vehicle.

“The driver [of the Jeep], when he stepped out, had terrible balance and had to lean against his vehicle to avoid falling over,” O’Brien said. “He was immediate arrested for impaired driving and taken to the detachment where he provided breath samples of .320, .350 and .350, all of which are over four times the legal limit.”

Out of an abundance of caution, police called for an ambulance to take the 44-year-old man to hospital to be treated for possible alcohol poisoning. Upon his release from hospital, the driver was served with a summons to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo on Aug. 3. He was also issued a 90-day roadside suspension and his vehicle was impounded for 30 days.

No one was injured, but O’Brien said given the driver’s “gross state of impairment,” the time of day and the amount of traffic in that area, the situation could have easily turned tragic.

“If you suspect a driver is impaired, pull off to the side of the road, when safe to do so, and dial 911 and provide the licence plate number, direction of travel and vehicle description,” O’Brien said.

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