Impaired bus driver caught

A Kelowna Regional Transit bus driver received a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition after being caught Sunday afternoon driving a bus while impaired.

An investigation is underway to find out how a Kelowna Regional Transit bus driver was allowed to drink and drive.

The 52-year-old man was issued a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition after being caught driving the bus while drunk on Sunday afternoon.

At around 1:30 p.m., a bus passenger called the Kelowna RCMP concerned that the driver was driving erratically and might be impaired.

A police officer caught up with the bus at Highway 97 and Burtch Avenue and stopped it.

The driver exhibited several signs of impairment and was given, and failed, a roadside breath test.

"Fortunately, no one was injured during this incident," said Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy.

"This passenger is commended for noticing an issue and reporting it immediately."

Because the driver was issued a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition, he will not be charged under the criminal code, according to Noseworthy.

The police are not releasing his name or his blood alcohol content.

The provincial government's website fact sheet on immediate roadside prohibitions states that a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition is issued under the Motor Vehicle Act when a driver fails a breath test with a blood alcohol concentration of over .08.

The 90-day prohibition on driving also includes a fine of $500 and mandatory referral to a remedial program, for which the driver has to pay a fee.

After 90 days of no driving, the driver has to apply for a new driver's licence from ICBC.

If granted that licence, it will be valid for two years, not the usual five years.

B.C. Transit only responded to requests by The Daily Courier on Monday via email.

"B.C. Transit is taking this matter very seriously and we immediately initiated an internal investigation with our operating company (First Transit, which runs Kelowna Regional Transit)," read the statement.

An internal investigation includes reviewing all details of the incident and proceeding from that point with suitable action.

"B.C. Transit has a fit-for-duty policy that we require operators and staff to follow and not to be impaired by any substance when behind the wheel working," said the statement.

B.C. Transit did not elaborate as to whether or not the fit-for-duty policy includes a third-party check of drivers before they start their shift.

The statement confirmed the driver is currently not working or driving a bus, but did not specify if the employee has been suspended, with or without pay, or if he is being disciplined in any other way.

"To respect privacy, we cannot speak to further human resource matters," said the statement.

"I can assure you we are taking this very seriously and talking all appropriate steps."

The statement also outlined that if First Transit needs any additional support for itself or staff it will get it from B.C. Transit.