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Crescent Valley man charged after ditch driving fails

Police say a 54-year-old Crescent Valley man’s actions exemplified what they’ve spent the past few weeks trying to prevent.

As the BC Highway Patrol wraps up a month-long campaign targeting high risk driving, a local man caught for driving almost 40 km/h over the speed limit is facing multiple charges.

RCMP say they caught the man on Highway 3A between Nelson and Castlegar on May 19.

When they tried to pull him over, the driver pulled onto the shoulder and into the ditch and kept going. Eventually, it could go no further and officers were able to deal with the driver.

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Police say they noticed “significant symptoms” of impairment due to drug use and after failing a sobriety test, the driver was arrested. However, he provided a false name. Eventually they figured out who he was after locating identification in the vehicle.

The man had several outstanding warrants, including for being unlawfully at large, obstructing a peace officer, failing to comply with probation, breach of undertaking, and several firearms offences.

Police say his driver’s license was also invalid, he was prohibited from driving, and he had drugs on him. He was held in jail overnight before appearing in court and being released pending a further June 21 appearance.

“I am extremely thankful this driver was removed from our roadways before he or someone else was seriously injured,” said RCMP Insp. Chad Badry, the officer in charge of BC Highway Patrol for the Kootenay, who noted that it came amid a month-long campaign by police in BC to combat high risk driving.

“Even though the campaign is coming to a close, we are always looking for drivers that put other people at significant risk.”

Badry says there was one upside to this incident: a new police officer with the Nelson Police Department doing field training with the Integrated Road Safety Unit was able to use some of her new skills.

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