Man charged with drunk driving after offering to pay Mountie's bill at drive-thru

An attempted act of kindness landed a man in handcuffs early Wednesday when he tried to pay the tab of an RCMP officer at a fast-food joint in Bedford, N.S.

RCMP say drunk drivers being nabbed during late-night food runs happens 'more often than people realize'

Workers at fast-food drive-thrus often call police to report suspected drunk drivers late at night, say RCMP. (CBC)

An attempted act of kindness landed a man in handcuffs early Wednesday when he tried to pay the tab of an RCMP officer at a fast-food joint in Bedford, N.S.

The trouble, allege RCMP, is the man was in the drive-thru at the time and drunk behind the wheel.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dal Hutchinson said the man was in a vehicle ahead of the officer around 2 a.m. when he began yelling at a restaurant worker that he wanted to pay for the Mountie's meal. 

Hutchinson said the RCMP officer declined the gesture but the man was insistent.

The officer then parked his vehicle and approached the man to speak with him directly. That's when he suspected the man was impaired.

'Kind gesture' led to charges

"Lo and behold, his kind gesture unfortunately led to him being arrested and facing charges," said Hutchinson.

Police say the man's blood alcohol was found to be more than twice that of the legal limit, which is 0.08.

A 42-year-old Lower Sackville man faces charges of drunk driving, driving with a suspended licence and operating an unregistered vehicle.

He's due in Halifax provincial court Dec. 6.

Don't pay it forward to police, says officer

Hutchinson said it's common for members of the public to offer pick up a police officer's bill at restaurants.

"We all want to do it, we pay it forward, especially in a drive-thru," he said. "As police officers with the RCMP, we try to avoid that and if someone does pay for our coffee or something like that, we end up leaving a tip … or paying for the product."

While it's not common for RCMP to arrest someone who's trying to pay an officer's bill, Hutchinson did say police regularly nab drunk drivers after receiving calls from fast food workers.

"It happens more often than people realize," he said. "You stop and think about it — 2, 3 in the morning, especially on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday night when people are heading home from the clubs and the bars, they've had a few, they've been out socializing, they get hungry."