An Ottawa man is facing drunk driving charges after dashcam footage captured an SUV swerving across the lanes of a busy highway and repeatedly scraping against the centre median during the morning rush hour.
The dramatic video shows the white SUV travelling on Highway 417 in Ottawa on Friday morning while the dashcam vehicle follows behind.
The eastbound SUV sideswipes the median at least twice, winds its way back and forth between lanes with a turn light on and drives along the shoulder with traffic around it.
“He almost hit the guard rail … Now he’s driving down the shoulder of the road,” Rocco Michelli, who followed the SUV to record the footage, says at one point.
Michelli said on the YouTube video’s page that he saw the SUV hit the curb and nearly sideswipe a vehicle before he called 911. Michelli said the SUV then passed his own vehicle, at which point the five-minute video begins.
Michelli added that he followed the SUV to the alleged driver’s workplace, where the man was arrested by police.
Const. Chuck Benoit told Global News that police received enough information from 911 callers to get ahead of the SUV and make the arrest.
“We’re very happy that nobody was involved in a collision,” said Benoit.
“When you see details like this it’s very important for a person to be taken off the road because he is a danger to the public.”
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Benoit said that investigators have taken the video as evidence.
“It does describe the entire scene that’s going to go into court so it’s easier for explanation,” he said. “A picture is a thousand words.”
But Benoit cautioned against following a suspected drunk driver if it’s unsafe to do so.
“If ever there is a safety issue we don’t recommend filming or phoning (911) because we don’t want people to get into accidents.”
Forty-six-year-old Martin Simbauni has been charged with impaired driving and driving with a blood-alcohol level more than 80 mg in connection with the incident.