Three-Time Drunk Driver Causing Two Accidents Avoids Jail
CC: s.253(1)(a) x 2 – Impaired Driving, s.254(5) x 2 – Refusal to Provide a Breath Sample, s.145(5) – Fail to Attend to Identification, s.145(5) – Fail to Attend Court
While driving under the influence of alchol, my client was reported by witnesses to be driving erratically on McNight Blvd. weaving through traffic, trying to squeeze in between two cars and eventually colliding into the rear of another vehicle. My client then tried to drive away, but hit the other car again. The driver of the other vechile wrestled the keys out of my client’s ignition, as he believed my client to be drunk. Police arrived while EMS were attending to my client. Upon opening the side door to the ambulance, my client tried to grab a hold of the police officer’s duty belt. The officer my client reeked of alcohol and had a blank stare through glossy eyes. My client stumbled out of the ambulance, losing his balance. After placing my client under arrest, and making a breath demand, my client replied: “owwwwweeeee!” (howling like a wolf). He then told the officer that he loved him and wanted a hug, stating: “we don’t need the police.”. He was staggering, slurring and mumbling incoherent words, was repeatedly falling asleep while officers were dealing with him. He evenutally fell to the floor of his cell and passed out. A couple of months later, he failed to attend for fingerprinting and later failed to attend court as well, so warrants issued for his arrest.One year later, while driving under the influence again, my client failed to stop at a red light and collided with the rear of a van. He exited his veichle and began yelling at the female driver of the van. Upon arrival at the scene, police noted that my client was having difficulty handling his documents, was extremely unsteady on his feet and almost tripped over backwards while trying to pick up his dropped registration. He had red, glassy eyes and a strong smell of alcohol coming from his breath. Again, he refused to provide a breath sample. Police also found a crack pipe in his pocket.
My client pleaded guilty to two of the impaired charges and failing to attend court. The other charges were withdrawn. He had a prior conviction on his record for impaired driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. However, the Crown did not rely upon these convictions to seek a greater punishment. Nonetheless, he ought to have received a sentence involving a minimum term of imprisonment of 30 days. However, I argued a technical legal principle from the Supreme Court and the Court did not impose any jail. Instead, my client was ordered to pay a total of $3600 in fines, with 16 months time to pay.