Nova Scotia

Lower Sackville driver released after 3rd drunk driving arrest in 3 weeks

A Lower Sackville woman arrested for drunk driving three times in three weeks was released Tuesday even though the latest incident involved a head-on crash and an alleged attempt to ram a police car.

Police say woman, 54, caused head-on crash, attempted to ram police car

Halifax RCMP arrested a Lower Sackville woman for drinking and driving Monday night, her third arrest in three weeks. (CBC)

A Lower Sackville woman was released from custody Tuesday after being charged with drunk driving for the third time in three weeks, causing a head-on collision and attempting to ram a police car.

RCMP Cpl. Dal Hutchinson said Wednesday the 54-year-old woman was also picked up for drunk driving on March 25 and again on April 3. But the judge whom she appeared before did not have that information, he said.

"When she went to court on Tuesday, the judge would have just been dealing with the five charges that were presented in front of him," Hutchinson said.

Travelling on the wrong side of the road

Halifax District RCMP arrested the woman Monday night after she was involved in a head-on collision at about 8:30 p.m.

A Lower Sackville resident called police to report that a vehicle was travelling in the wrong direction on Sackville Drive.

The vehicle continued onto Cobequid Road, where the head-on collision took place, police said. The driver of the second vehicle was not injured.

Police said the suspect continued driving after the crash, causing a third vehicle to swerve to avoid being struck, resulting in minor damage to that vehicle.

Attempt to ram police car

RCMP located the suspect's vehicle in a nearby parking lot and approached the woman. She then attempted to ram the police car with her vehicle, police said.

RCMP said the officer in the patrol car was able to get out of the way and the suspect's vehicle went into a ditch. The woman, who was not injured, was taken into custody.

The woman faces charges of drunk driving, refusal to provide a breath sample, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, flight from a police officer and failure to comply with conditions of her release.

'Put everyone else at risk'

Hutchinson said police are concerned about the possibility the woman will continue to drive, even though she would not have a licence following her first offence.

"It's very unfortunate they are still making the decision to get behind the wheel and put everyone else at risk."

The woman was released on a number of conditions, he said.

"They're going to have conditions that include not to consume alcohol because obviously it is an issue," Hutchinson said.

Because it appears she did not comply, police will have to step up their efforts to monitor the suspect.

"When we're aware that when someone has a history such as this, that they're driving on a regular basis, totally ignoring any instructions from the court system, we will keep an eye on this individual. We will increase patrols in the area where they reside to ensure they are not driving," Hutchinson said.

Vehicle seized

He said he believes the woman's vehicle has been seized.

"But the reality is they can go out and buy themselves a very cheap car and drive without a licence or registration. And that's where we end up encountering these people again. Or they can borrow a car from someone.

"So we will continue to be vigilant and ensure this person does not get behind the wheel again and harm or kill someone else."

The driver is scheduled to return to court May 17.