Nanaimo man arrested
(Image / Tom Brenner)

A woman in Nanaimo was charged with impaired driving after authorities said she was found passed out inside a running car with her infant strapped into its baby seat.

According to Nanaimo RCMP, the vehicle, which was located in the parking lot of the North Town Centre Mall around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday November 17th, was in park, but the engine was still running.

Along with the child, a dog was also located inside the vehicle.

“Nanaimo RCMP is investigating an incident of suspected impaired driving in which the driver of a vehicle was found passed out in the driver’s seat,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Police said they were first alerted to the vehicle, a Ford f-150 pickup, after a report was received from Oceanside RCMP that the same vehicle had been involved in a hit and run collision earlier that same day.

When officers located the vehicle, they tried to repeatedly rouse the woman by yelling and knocking on the windows but were unable to wake her.

“At this time, the officer called for EHS and Fire to respond and assist with removing the woman safely from her vehicle,” said O’Brien.

Police said with the help of EHS and fire crews, the 35-year-old woman was eventually awoken and was helped from the vehicle.

To ensure there were no medical issues at play, she, along with her child, were transported to the Nanaimo hospital for a medical assessment.

During the ride to the hospital, officers said they detected a strong odor of liquor on her breath which provided grounds to pursue an impaired driving check.

After being checked over, the child was turned over to its father and the woman was transported to the Nanaimo RCMP detachment to conduct a breathalyzer.

The woman took two breath tests, both being 2.5 times over the legal limit.

O’Brien said she was issued a 90-day Roadside Prohibition and her vehicle was impounded for 24 hours.

She was then served with an Appearance Notice to appear in Nanaimo Provincial Court on charges of Drive While Impaired and Drive While Over the Legal Limit of .08, both being criminal charges.

“This incident is disturbing on many levels but needless to say that we are just glad that the child was not injured in any way,” said O’Brien.

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