Five people stood up in court on Thursday to plead guilty to various impaired driving charges — three of whom received various fines and two face jail time.
"Sadly, (impaired driving) is a typical offence that comes before the court," Crown attorney Brett Rach said in Brandon provincial court during one of the dispositions.
Chelsea Nicole Kingdon, 24, represented herself and pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level exceeding the legal limit on July 2.
Police were on the road when they saw a white Buick turn into oncoming traffic, Rach said, almost hitting their cruiser head-on.
Kingdon told the officers she erred in driving because she had been talking on her cellphone, but the officers did not see her on a cellphone or looking down and did make direct eye contact with her.
Officers noted Kingdon smelled of alcohol and arrested her for impaired driving, Rach said. Breath samples showed she was more than three times the legal limit.
"The readings are astronomical, especially when you’re not showing overt signs of impairment. That shows me that you might have to address your relationship with alcohol," Judge John Combs said. "That’s your business, but unfortunately it becomes our business when you get behind the wheel."
Kingdon was handed a $2,500 fine and a 15-month driving prohibition.
Donald Schnell, 73, also representing himself, pleaded guilty in court to operating a motor vehicle while impaired on July 4.
Police were called to a parking lot after Schnell backed into another vehicle, Rach said, and witnesses believed he was impaired.
Schnell refused to exit his vehicle and was being combative with people on scene, one witness told police, and another said she saw Schnell get out of his vehicle after backing into the other one only to get back in and drive around the parking lot.
Schnell showed signs of impairment when speaking with police, so they advised him he was under arrest, Rach said, to which he told them "I’m not driving anymore" and that he wasn’t driving but only backing up.
Officers tried to get several breath samples from Schnell, but were unable to due to him failing to breathe halfway through the test or not breathing into the device at all.
"I can only apologize to my friends, my family and my neighbours," Schnell told the court.
He was handed an $1,800 fine and a one-year driving prohibition.
Marcel Ouellet, 34, pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level exceeding the legal limit after getting pulled over at a checkstop on June 28.
Police pulled over the truck Ouellet was driving as part of a road watch on Richmond Avenue, Rach said, and noticed he was showing signs of impairment.
There was also an open case of beer in the vehicle with a few beers missing from the case.
Ouellet was arrested and breath samples showed he was almost double the legal limit.
Defence lawyer Andrew Synyshyn told the court Ouellet had met a friend for dinner and had a couple drinks before making the unfortunate decision to drive.
There was no evidence of bad driving, Synyshyn added, noting that Ouellet most likely would have made it home without incident.
Combs handed Ouellet a $1,500 fine and a one-year driving prohibition.
Anthony May, 54, also pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level exceeding the legal limit after getting pulled over at a checkstop on July 5.
Police were conducting a checkstop in the parking lot at Brandon University on 18th Street, Rach said, and May — driving a red Harley-Davidson — was directed to pull in.
Officers smelled alcohol on May and he was slurring his words, so he was arrested and asked to take a breathalyzer test.
After a few unsuccessful attempts, breath samples showed May to be double the legal limit.
Defence lawyer Ryan Fawcett said May had just had his rent money stolen, so in a "moment of weakness" he jumped on his bike in order to go and retrieve it.
This is the second time May has faced a impaired driving conviction, Rach said, putting a jail sentence on the table.
"It certainly wasn’t my intent to repeat my previous mistake. Obviously, there’s no excuse for it," May said.
"Your readings were very high. In spite of what may have caused you to get on your vehicle, it was very dangerous for you to do so," Combs said.
May was sentenced to 30 days in jail, which he is allowed to serve intermittently on the weekends. He was also handed a 25-month driving prohibition.
Jeremy Allarie, 37, pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level exceeding the legal limit on Aug. 9, 2018.
Police were responding to a disturbance at a bar in Inglis, Crown attorney Ron Toews said, when they pulled over a vehicle heading the other direction.
Allarie was identified as the driver and officers noted he smelled of alcohol and showed signs of impairment.
He was arrested and breath samples showed he was almost three times the legal limit.
This is Allarie’s fourth impaired driving offence, Toews said.
Defence lawyer Melania Cannon said Allarie had been attacked during the disturbance in the bar and the only reason he drove was to flee the situation.
Allarie was originally going to contest the charges on the grounds of self-defence, Cannon said, but since taking steps to live a sober life Allarie decided to accept responsibility.
Combs sentenced Allarie to 90 days in jail, which he was also permitted to serve intermittently on weekends.
He was also handed a 27-month driving prohibition.
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