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RCMP patrolman Bima Ribeiro was on his way home last month after a night shift working at a roadside-check operation when he spotted a car weaving on a highway in Saanich.

He pulled the car over and was administering a breath-analysis test on the suspected impaired driver when he heard tires screeching. He just had time to look over his shoulder to see a vehicle sliding sideways toward him.

"It was in full yaw, coming at me at 90 kilometres an hour. It missed me by about five feet." He could only watch as the car slammed into a concrete median and exploded into pieces.

Story continues below advertisement

That driver, who survived the wreck, is still being investigated for drunk driving. And just a day earlier, he had been issued a 24-hour roadside suspension.

Constable Ribeiro, the father of two young children, was in the crowd of police officers at the B.C. Legislature yesterday to applaud the government's new drunk-driving law.

Under the new law, police will be able to impose tougher roadside penalties for drivers who refuse to give a breath sample or are found with a blood-alcohol level over 0.05 per cent.

That is a relief to Constable Ribeiro, a member of the RCMP's integrated road safety unit on Vancouver Island.

"It becomes personal."

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