Clark County Sheriff John Horch assists in DUI emphasis effort

Clark County Sheriff John Horch assisted with a DUI emphasis Wednesday evening near the RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater, emphasizing the importance of proactive enforcement to prevent impaired driving accidents.

Sheriff was leaving a shift briefing near the fairgrounds when he encountered what appeared to be someone driving under the influence

Leah Anaya
For Clark County Today

Clark County’s Target Zero team conducted a DUI emphasis Wednesday (Sept. 6) night as a part of a series of emphases during concert events near RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater. Traffic units from several Clark County agencies conduct stops on vehicles around the event center during and after concerts in an effort to prevent tragic collisions.

While it’s not abnormal for extra traffic units to patrol during concerts like Wednesday’s 50 Cent performance, one stop of the evening did begin in a rather uncommon way.

Clark County Sheriff John Horch
Clark County Sheriff John Horch

One driver suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs was stopped by Clark County Sheriff John Horch.

Sheriff Horch was driving in his agency vehicle following a shift briefing around 8:15 p.m. and saw a vehicle driving erratically. Believing the driver may be under the influence, he pulled the car over. “The car was swerving all over the place,” Sheriff Horch told Clark County Today. “It’s a miracle he didn’t hit anyone.”

Sheriff Horch said that he used to process DUIs often in his days as a patrol deputy because he knew how important it was to get those dangerous drivers off the road. “It’s been a while,” Horch said, “but it’s a little like riding a bike. It all came back.”

Horch said that although he was glad to be able to get that driver off the road, he called for a backup unit to handle the bulk of the investigation. 

“The driver got out of the car and was stumbling around, and I could smell the odor of alcohol coming from his breath,’’ Horch said. “I was going to start field tests, but since it’s been so long for me, I didn’t want to mess up and ruin the investigation.”

Vancouver Police Officer Sean Donaldson arrived on scene, who is an active part of Target Zero, and took over for the sheriff. 

VPD Officer Sean Donaldson
VPD Officer Sean Donaldson

“It is unusual for the higher ranks to perform a routine traffic stop, but it is very important for impaired drivers to be stopped before they cause a collision. Sheriff Horch’s dedication to traffic safety is appreciated,” Donaldson said.

Officer Donaldson said he was grateful that the sheriff pulled the car over, as the driver was under the influence of alcohol. “DUI patrols are important to show the public that we are performing proactive enforcement to discourage impaired driving which leads to collisions, injuries, and death.”

“I’m so glad there was an emphasis going so that Officer Donaldson could respond so quickly to help with this,” said Sheriff Horch. “Getting these drivers off the road is so important and just one way that law enforcement can work proactively to keep our community safe.”

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