An impaired driver who switched seats with his passenger made a big error: he forgot to make sure the passenger was sober.

Shortly after 5:30 p.m. last Friday, police were dispatched to the area of Schisler and Montrose roads in Niagara after a 911 caller reported a grey Mazda being driven erratically.

The responding officer found the vehicle pulled over on the shoulder on Townline and Canal roads in Welland. The officer saw the male driver and female passenger switching seats.

As officers approached the car, they determined that both the driver and the passenger were intoxicated.

Niagara Regional Police media officer Const. Derek Watson said the male got into a struggle with one of the officers, nearly tearing off his vest. Fortunately, he said, there were no injuries, and both occupants of the car were arrested and charged.

Watson said he posted information about the incident because it's not the first time an impaired driver has tried to avoid arrest this way.

"We've experienced that a lot," he said. "They see the police, and they try to do a switcheroo."

Though police didn't see the car in motion, police were able to charged with the driver with impaired operation of a vehicle because of evidence police were able to gather, including witness statement. The passenger, because she was in the driver's seat of a running vehicle, was charged with care and control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

"She certainly could have and she had the intention of driving away," Watson said.

Tyler Henderson, 29, of Burlington, was charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and assault with intent to resist arrest.

Jennifer Mercredi, 30, of Port Colborne, was charged with care and control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, fail to comply with recognizance and refuse to provide a breath sample.

Source: Niagara This Week


Report impaired drivers

Police say the public's assistance is key to winning the fight against impaired driving. People can learn how to spot drunk drivers by looking for the following behaviours:

• Making an unnecessary wide turn

• Driving down the center line

• Slow reactions to changing traffic lights

• Erratic braking

• Tailgating

• Inconsistent or inaccurate signaling

• Driving 10 mph slower than the speed limit

• Inappropriate stopping

• Illegal or last-minute turns

• Drifting into oncoming traffic

• Driving at night or in the early morning without headlights

• Appearing to be drunk (i.e., face close to the windshield, actual drinking while driving, etc.)


Last updated on: 2014-07-20 | Link to this post