Man who almost hit RCMP crusier sentenced to weekends

Steve Sharratt
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Darren Ernest Ross pled guilty to refusing the breathalyzer on Jan. 3 when he crossed the centre line of the highway at Summerville and nearly struck an RCMP cruiser


GEORGETOWN — A Lower Montague man who almost smashed into an oncoming RCMP cruiser was sentenced to weekend jail terms in provincial court here Thursday so he could maintain his employment insurance and return to his pending seasonal job.

Darren Ernest Ross pleaded guilty to refusing the breathalyzer on Jan. 3 when he crossed the centre line of the highway at Summerville and nearly struck an RCMP cruiser travelling in the opposite direction.

RCMP police officer Thane MacEachern told The Guardian in an interview last month that the problem of impaired drivers is not getting any better in P.E.I. He was travelling with Const. Brent Macumber on a snow covered section of Route 3 near Montague when they had to swerve out of the way to avoid collision with the 41-year-old accused.

"The aggravating factor is that you have no licence," said Judge Nancy Orr, mulling over her decision. "And you shouldn't have been on the road in the first place....let alone after drinking."

Defence counsel said Ross, a father, with three prior convictions, had recently lost his wife and was dealing with issues when the incident occurred. Court was also told Ross has since quit drinking and was now a regular at AA meetings.

The accused was granted an intermittent sentence of 68 days on weekends and fined $1,300.

Organizations: RCMP, The Guardian

Geographic location: Montague, GEORGETOWN, P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • All I can say is WOW
    February 10, 2013 - 19:33

    Wait let me get this straight ei is taken away from a single mother who doesn't own a car to get to a job in Charlottetown. Ok I'm confused Mr. Ross gets to keep ei after a fourth impaired conviction and gets to serve week ends. So can anyone make sense of the logic.

  • A sober driver.
    February 07, 2013 - 21:14

    Can some one tell me how many convictions you have to collect before you get something other than a slap on the back of the legs ?? Its know wonder there are so many drunk drivers on PEI when sentences are handed down like this, one thing that puzzles me is, if he is spared jail time because of an impending job and he hasn't got a licence does this mean he just drives without one ? It Ps me off having to run my truck within the laws of the land when so many just dont.

  • I concur
    February 07, 2013 - 18:37

    I agree with all of you, wow, can't believe you can have a 4th conviction & all you get is weekends! He could have killed those 2 police officers! When are the judges going to pull their heads out & look at reality. Had they hurt or killed one of their family members, do you think this jerk would have just gotten weekends? We all know you don;t need a license in order to drive - now all you need is to live in PEI & be on EI to get off....ridiculous

  • Can't Beleive This
    February 07, 2013 - 18:36

    SOOOOO the poor little baby might lose his ever would he support his habit then? He was having hard times? oh wait while I get another Kleenex, so his wife is gone, so are 50% of the rest of the population (myself included) and I manage a good job,two kids and do enjoy a drink as well but have enough self respect not to drive.. Get a life and a real job EI boy...maybe as a judge on PEI because we all know it's not that hard. Bad to say but maybe once one of our so called Judges is invovled in an accident (or near miss like this) they'll toughen up or is there a hidden agenda here on PEI. We've seen a huge increase in charges lately and it's not because it's happening more,so someone with power is pushing. One of these times the victim who is involved in these accidents are going to take the law into their own hands & deal with the drunk who hits them, then guess who'll actually see jail. PATHETIC JUDGE ORR!!!

  • Red
    February 07, 2013 - 17:33

    The man never done any any damage,you cant sentence a man on what he could have done,and 68 days of weekends is no walk in Disney land either,and I assume people commenting here have never spent a day in Sleepy hollow. This man still has to live on in Society,get to work possibly support a family and up keep utilities in a home.It gets me how some people want to throw away the key when it comes to being sentenced.Granted there are some overly intoxicated problem drinkers getting behind the wheel and they should be dealt with accordingly.each case has to be dealt with according to the circumstances

    • SAP
      February 07, 2013 - 20:56

      Actually, if you drive impaired, or with a suspended license, that is the crime. I could fire a shotgun through the middle of the mall, and by your logic, as long as no no one gets hit, no damage done. And exactly how many breaks should someone get? seems like we have no shortage of examples of repeat offenders around here, clearly weekend sentences don't do the trick.

    • Captain Canuck
      February 07, 2013 - 23:28

      RED, we haven't spent time in Sleepy Hollow for a reason - and weekends is a joke. This judge dropped the ball. Ross should take this conviction and run! What a break. OK, Ross understands the seriousness and I hope he sees how lucky this break is for him. Still - the judge went completely underboard on the sentencing. If this had ended up with your child killed I know you'd be the first to call the judgment on this as folly. The sentencing is a sick joke. As for the criminal: I'd say he knows he has received a final warning... stay sober dude and stop blaming your ex. How many lawyers and judges will fall for that piece o' shite? Obviously it was one more than it shoulda' been.

    • Dhobey
      February 10, 2013 - 08:54

      Actually 68 days is not so bad.... every weekend counts as 4 days, with time off for "good behaviour", he'll finish his time 10 weekends....with groceries, cable tv, and fellowship with all the other repeat drunk drivers doing weekends.

    • Tyler
      February 11, 2013 - 11:05

      RED if you didn't read the article he is on EI...not working!!

  • Serious Reader
    February 07, 2013 - 17:26

    Nancy Orr will you still think you have done anyone a favor when this same jerk gets behind the wheel drunk next time??? And there will be a next time....because he got "away with it " this time....and you will be responsible for the carnage he causes. Good Job !! Right up there with Duffy and Shea...It's almost like we are in the middle of a bad comedy show.

  • Justin O'Brien
    February 07, 2013 - 17:19

    OK, just so's we don't inconvenience him... Is that fine by you, Mr. Ross? Good. You come to jail at your convenience. What is the judge thinking? Is there no consequence to deadly crimes? I suffer greater punishment for eating fried onions!

  • Not right
    February 07, 2013 - 16:21

    How is he able to keep his EI cause ya go in to jail Friday night and get out on monday morning so he would not be able to work on the weekends this is unfar to anyone who was unable to file for EI before that went to jail

  • SAP
    February 07, 2013 - 16:08

    So, he gets to sit around all week on EI, goes in for a couple of days for tax payer funded meals? Wonder why he didn't learn his lesson the first three times. Can the tax payer cover my meals on weekends? Or do I have to drive around drunk without a license?

    February 07, 2013 - 15:57

    I agree with everyone else. Why do these people have to kill someone before they get the jail time they deserve? I can see a first offence, for stupid people who think they won't get caught, but second offence or more, get them off the road, permanently.

  • Ridiculous
    February 07, 2013 - 14:56

    So he gets off basically with nothing because he was going through issues at the time. It's no wonder that the problem with impaired driving isn't getting any better on the Island. He got behind the wheel after drinking (with no license) and had no problem risking the lives in each of the cars he met. But the courts didn't want him to risk losing his EI and job? No one will ever learn with laws like this.

  • good call
    February 07, 2013 - 14:52

    So, in mulling over the fact that he had no license and was drinking as well, (not to mention three previous convictions) the judge in her infinite wisdom decided to let him continue being a risk and only serve weekends so that he can continue to draw his EI. And we wonder why there is a problem of impaired driving.

  • just plain stupid
    February 07, 2013 - 13:41

    4th offence and he still gets off with only having to serve weekends. I guess you have to kill someone to get weekdays in jail.

  • mike
    February 07, 2013 - 13:26

    Wow can't believe Mr.Ross getting of so easy.What about if he would of hit a car with a family.Thing's could of been a lot worst.Good that he didn't hit no one.But like a lot of drunk driving cases the Judge lets them off with a slap on the fingers. They keep saying that PEI has the worst drinking and driving in the country well instead of putting it in papers all over the place,get the judge to be more strick on these drivers.Maybe the justice system needs to get a refresher course.enough is enough about these yahoos on the roads

  • Margaret Ross
    February 07, 2013 - 13:19

    Oh by all means we wouldn't want to cause an issue with his pogey!!!! Like .... WTH? DRUNK DRIVERS KILL PEOPLE!!! OMG when is the punishment for these spineless idiots ever going to fit the crime? He has been convicted 3 prior times! Folks deal with Grief differant ways but it does NOT give anyone the right to get behind the wheel of a 3000 lb weapon while drunk !!! THANK God it was a cruiser and not a small child he hit .....THIS time!