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3rd impaired driving charge laid following fast-food stop

Do you want a lawyer with those fries?

For the third time in two weeks a motorist has been charged with impaired driving after a stop at a fast-food drive-thru.

It could be chance, or maybe a growing distaste for drunk driving in general that has led to more calls to police.

Or, maybe fast-food grub is simply too tempting, even to those who should think twice before getting behind the wheel.

“It’s common knowledge that people get hungry when they start drinking,” noted Brandon Police Service Staff Sgt. Larry Yanick.

The latest drive-thru incident came on Sunday.

Police say a passenger from a vehicle took a pee in the drive-thru lane at the Richmond Avenue McDonald’s — in front of a police cruiser.

The vehicle was pulled over on the 2100-block of Richmond Avenue, and tests indicated that the driver had a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit.

It was the third such case in two weeks.

On Dec. 25, a man was charged with impaired driving after staff working at the Victoria Avenue McDonald’s reported a suspected impaired driver in the drive-thru.

And, on Dec. 16, a man was charged after he allegedly passed out behind the wheel while waiting for food in a drive-thru.

Police say they don’t “stake out” fast-food restaurants in the hope of catching hungry drunk drivers, and they don’t plan to.

Nor do they specifically approach fast food staff and ask them to report suspected drunks.

However, Yanick said police do routinely receive calls from concerned drive-thru staff.

“There’s always someone out there with eyes who is willing to give police a call and report an impaired driver,” Yanick said.

That may have something to do with the Report Impaired Drivers 911 program which encourages citizens to use their cellphone to report drunk driving suspects, Yanick said.

The program was launched in February 2011, and restaurants are among the businesses that received promotional materials like posters.

BPS Sgt. Kevin Loewen, head of the force’s traffic section, agrees that advertising has encouraged people to call police when they spot a suspected drunk driver.

Other than that, the recent run of drive-thru arrests may come down to coincidence or simply dumb behaviour.

“I guess it goes to show that drunk people will do silly things,” Loewen said.

» ihitchen@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 2, 2013

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Do you want a lawyer with those fries?

For the third time in two weeks a motorist has been charged with impaired driving after a stop at a fast-food drive-thru.

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Do you want a lawyer with those fries?

For the third time in two weeks a motorist has been charged with impaired driving after a stop at a fast-food drive-thru.

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