A British Columbia-based RCMP officer was handed a small $1,000 fine and three months probation for driving while intoxicated and passing out at a Burger King drive-thru.

The incident which occurred “on or between” April 9 and April 10, 2020 involved Constable Blaise Picketts. He was in or near Maple Ridge, British Columbia at the time.

According to the contents of a Conduct Committee decision dated April 8, 2022, but released July 20, 2022, Picketts allegedly violated the RCMP Code of Conduct in various ways.

The ruling document suggests Picketts was actually off duty at the time of the incident, but had his police dog in the vehicle with him at the time, along with other police equipment. The document indicates that the details of these allegations have not been disputed.

The catch is that even though he passed out drunk in an RCMP vehicle at a Burger King drive-thru, Picketts was able to keep his job.

What happened?

On the afternoon of April 9, Picketts went to a liquor store to buy liquor. He then visited some of his colleagues in Langley and Surrey and “consumed several alcoholic beverages during the afternoon and evening”.

“On April 10, 2020, at around 2:30 a.m., you were found asleep at the wheel of a [your police vehicle] at Burger King’s drive-thru.

The Burger King’s address was redacted, however, Picketts was found asleep with a credit card in hand and the vehicle’s engine running. It was restaurant staff who called 911 because they were concerned about Picketts’ safety.

The document says police later arrested Picketts for refusing to provide a breath sample and for impaired driving a vehicle. He apparently bit the straw and turned his head away from the Approved Screening Device.

He then told the officers to “f*ck off” and said, “I’m not under arrest.”

When officers physically attempted to arrest him, Picketts stretched out his arms and body and “acted aggressively in that at one point he quickly raised his knee in the direction of the groin of the Constable Wagner”.

He also grabbed the handcuffs the officers were trying to restrain him with and injured one of the officers in the process. The document indicates that all of this was filmed. The police dog found in the car is unharmed.

“At the scene, officers noted damage to the passenger side and rear bumper.”

According to the document, Picketts damaged his vehicle while crossing the Golden Ears Bridge in Maple Ridge, causing $7,000 damage to the vehicle which Picketts reimbursed to the RCMP.

Hearing Officer Christine Sakiris says Picketts used his police vehicle for personal reasons “while damaging the vehicle and endangering the safety of the public and your police dog.”

“Constable stakes acknowledges that his actions had a negative impact on the reputation of the RCMP, especially as members of the general public witnessed the incident. He further acknowledges that his actions were dishonorable and endangered the safety of the public, his fellow police officers and his police dog.

Picketts’ future of work

The hearing suggests that Picketts was remorseful for his actions and immediately saw treatment for his substance abuse issues.

He also accepted full responsibility for his actions “and did everything he could to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.”

“He admitted the allegations and admitted his misconduct at the earliest opportunity. Additionally, he immediately sought treatment and pleaded guilty to a criminal charge stemming from this incident,” Sakiris said.

The audience also looked at his past work and suggested he had been reliable and proactive.

“He is well regarded and over the past 10 years has consistently exceeded expectations.”

Ultimately, the hearing concluded that Picketts’ actions were not malicious.

There are consequences for Picketts, however.

He will have to pay a financial penalty of 30 days and will have to give up 15 days of annual leave. Picketts was hoping for a promotion, but will now have to complete an additional three years of service to be eligible for the roles to which he was hoping to be promoted. He must also apologize in person to the other officers involved in the incident.

Picketts will no longer be able to have a police dog, which the RCMP say “will be deeply felt by Constable Picketts.”

“Constable Picketts is cleared to continue his career with the RCMP. They are expected to uphold the standards set by the RCMP Code of Conduct and Core Values. Any future breaches of the code of conduct will be seriously considered by the appropriate conduct authority and may result in dismissal from the Force.

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