Undercover RCMP look for impaired drivers at fast-food restaurants



rafe arnott/metro vancouver


RCMP Const. Bryan Nanton, a traffic enforcement officer in Surrey, is among those who may be waiting inside fast-food restaurants to catch impaired drivers.


Surrey RCMP are serving up unhappy meals for impaired drivers who visit late-night drive-thru windows.

In an innovative new strategy, plain-clothed traffic officers have been stationed inside local fast-food restaurants to observe people as they come back from bars and house parties.

"It’s something different," said Sgt. Roger Morrow, spokesman for Surrey RCMP.

"It’s another way of tackling the same old problem that has been around for decades."

Morrow said officers will be watching for signs of drunkenness, listening for slurred speech and sniffing for alcohol.

Suspected impaired drivers are pulled over by uniformed officers after leaving the drive thru.

The strategy, codenamed Project WULF (Would You Like Fries?) has been up and running three nights. Officers have charged two impaired drivers and issued 10 24-hour licence suspensions.

"That’s pretty good for only three kicks at the can," said Morrow, adding that the program will be in operation this weekend at an undisclosed location in Surrey.

The strategy is intuitive for anyone who has ever spoken with fast-food employees who work late at night, Morrow said.

He said the project is being run with the support of local restaurants.

"A lot of the chains want to be active in their community and local managers have stepped up to the plate."