A man could face impaired driving charges after crashing his vehicle in Burnaby. As Jill Bennett reports, a four-year-old girl was in the car at the time.

Police are investigating a man for suspected drunk driving with a child in the car.

On Friday, a man allegedly crashed his vehicle into a barrier at Production Way and Lougheed Highway in Burnaby. Witnesses say he was slumped over the steering wheel. The driver drove off, despite the fact that witnesses tried to help him. One of those witnesses was suspicious of the man’s refusal for help, so he followed him and called 911.

Burnaby RCMP say the suspected drunk driver drove to Como Lake Ave. and Mariner Way in Coquitlam. The SUV was found idle and damaged in the middle of traffic about eight kilometres from where the ordeal began in Burnaby. Police say the suspect was passed out and once again slumped over the steering wheel.

Fortunately, the four-year-old girl was not injured. She has been reunited with her mother, while the man was arrested at the scene and could face impaired driving charges. The driver was treated for cuts to his face, which police say may be the result of the initial collision with the barrier.

The relationship between the child and the suspect has not been confirmed.

It’s not the first time police have investigated a driver suspected of being drunk while kids are in the vehicle.

In August, a West Vancouver man crashed his car with his two young children inside. He was later charged with impaired driving.

For Markita Kaulius, who founded Families for Justice after her 22-year-old daughter Kassandra Kaulius was killed by a drunk driver, hearing about even one case of someone impaired behind the wheel is too many. She would like to see tougher penalties for impaired driving, a preventable crime that claims up to 1,500 lives in Canada every year.

“Life can change in seconds,” says Kaulius, “You cannot get a life back.”