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Dozens ticketed throughout Lower Mainland in weekend roadblocks 0

Nick Eagland, 24 hours



It was a busy weekend for police in the Lower Mainland as roadblocks in Vancouver nabbed dozens of impaired drivers, while three men in Burnaby were arrested after doing a runner.

In their annual holiday counterattack campaign against drunk drivers that began Saturday, the Vancouver Police Department issued 59 violation tickets and five 24-hour suspensions after screening nearly 100 drivers, Sgt. Randy Fincham said in an email.

Three other drivers received immediate roadside bans and now face a 30-day vehicle impoundment, a $500 fine and 90-day driving prohibition.

Early Saturday in Burnaby, a roadblock was disrupted around 6 a.m. when a minivan fled, leaving an officer injured.

Const. Chris Redhead was rushed to hospital where he received stitches to his hand after punching through one of the van’s windows.

“When the vehicle took off we heard the tires squealing, everybody starting to shout 'Stop! Stop!' said RCMP spokesman Cpl. Bob McDonald. “[Const. Redhead] kind of had to push along the vehicle to give himself distance so he wouldn’t get hit.”

The three men ditched the vehicle and were quickly apprehended with the help of police dogs near Willingdon Avenue and Canada Way.

McDonald said officers found evidence suggesting the van was stolen. This included a screwdriver near the punched-out ignition, damage to the dashboard and a destroyed keyhole on the passenger side. Crowbars and gloves were found inside the vehicle and the rear seat was missing.

Cpl. David Chu of the Burnaby RCMP said the men face charges for possession of stolen property, possession of break-and-enter tools, breach of recognizance and flight from police.

Last year, police-reported-impaired driving decreased 24 percent in B.C. with 14,395 incidents. Crown insurer ICBC reported 56 people were killed in vehicle accidents where “alcohol, drugs or medication was a contributing factor.”




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