Driver suspected of impaired but playing Pokémon Go instead


Earlier this month police in a helicopter in York Region spotted an erratic driver at 3 a.m. whom they initially suspected of being an impaired driver. The luxury car was stopping and starting suddenly, turning erratically, travelling from parking lots to driveways and parks, then into a residential neighbourhood.

The police dispatched a patrol car who immediately pulled him over.  What they discovered however, was that the driver was not impaired by drugs or alcohol. Rather, he was busy playing Pokémon Go while driving. He was trying to catch the Pokémon, but he became the one that got caught.

Police chose not to charge the individual but rather to give him a “very stern” talking to according to the reports in the Toronto Star. York Regional Police also used the event to warn people not to get too drawn into the game playing on handheld devices for a variety of reasons. There have been several reports of individuals being struck by cars, causing accidents, falling down and hurting themselves, and even being robbed or assaulted as they’ve become absorbed in the game.

Remember that if you are playing an AR game on your handheld device you should remain attentive to your surroundings. Play in a safe area, don’t do it on the road, or while you are driving, remember that just because you see a Pokémon on private property, on someone’s patio, or in their house, that doesn’t mean that you can trespass. You must obey trespass laws on private property. There have been several reports of people actually waling into homes to catch Pokémon that they see through the windows.

Like all games, the popularity of this one will fade with time. The question of how we will deal with AR and VR moving forward will be a challenging one.

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