08/11/2015 02:57 EDT | Updated 08/11/2016 05:59 EDT

Grand Forks Councillor Michael Wirischagin Resigns After Impaired Driving Charge With 4-Year-Old In Car

City Of Grand Forks
A Grand Forks, B.C. city councillor has been charged with impaired driving after RCMP say they found an allegedly intoxicated man with a four-year-old girl in his car.

Michael Wirischagin has resigned from his seat on city council following the impaired driving charges. 

Officers confirmed with CBC that they found a 34-year-old allegedly drunk man struggling to start his car around 3 p.m. PT on June 14 in the town of Midway. A four-year-old girl was in the car with the driver and officers found an open bottle of vodka at his feet.

Wirischagin is charged with care or control of a vehicle while impaired and failing to give a breath sample.

He didn't want to speak on the record about the charges, but his lawyer Don White says he will fight them.

"There were legal issues related to the demand that was made. And we feel that these same issues will come up in the criminal case."

The city will hold a byelection for a new councillor in the coming months.

Wirischagin was eight months into his third term on council and said he has made a decision to focus on a career outside of local politics.

In a statement provided to the city over the weekend, he said "it is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you that I will be vacating my seat on council effective immediately."

Grand Forks Mayor Frank Konrad said Wirischagin contributed a lot of time and energy to the city and was instrumental in the promotion of sporting events and activities in the community.

"City Council and I wish Mr. Wirischagin well in his future endeavours, and extend a heartfelt thank you for stepping into local politics for two terms," he said. 

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