A 70-year-old man who has 10 drunk driving related convictions will be spending four months in jail after a judge sentenced him in provincial court Friday.
Chester Moffatt appeared before Judge Jeff Lantz in Charlottetown for sentencing after he previously pleaded guilty to refusing the breathalyzer.
On Nov. 21 around 3:50 p.m. someone called 911 to report a vehicle in the ditch in St. Ann.
When firefighters arrived at the scene Moffatt was trying to drive out of the ditch and was spinning the vehicle’s tires.
A firefighter reached in to grab the keys out of the ignition and when he did he noticed a strong smell of liquor.
After the firefighter took the keys Moffatt got out and hid under a nearby tree where the RCMP later found him.
When Moffatt came out from under the tree his speech was slurred, he could hardly stand, his zipper on his pants was down and he appeared to have urinated on himself.
Moffatt later refused to provide the police with a breath sample.
In recommending a sentence, Crown attorney Valerie Moore said it was Moffatt’s 10th drunk driving related conviction and he should get a lengthy jail sentence with the longest driving ban possible.
Defence lawyer Brenda Picard responded by saying there was an eight-year gap since his previous conviction and he struggled with alcohol addiction, although he hadn’t had a drink since the accident.
In handing down a sentence, Lantz said it was obvious Moffatt was quite impaired at the time of the accident and presumably drove into the ditch because he was drunk.
The fact Moffatt was involved in an accident and his level of impairment were aggravating factors in sentencing, Lantz said.
He also said the biggest aggravating factor was Moffatt’s record, although the trouble was the long gap between convictions.
It’s a serious issue when someone goes before the court with their 10th drunk driving conviction and the previous sentences did little to dissuade Moffatt from drinking and driving, Lantz said.
Lantz said if it wasn’t for the gap in Moffatt’s convictions he would have been facing serious jail time.
Along with the four-month jail sentence, Moffatt is prohibited from driving for three years after his release and will be on probation for two years.
Lantz also ordered him to pay $50 to the victims of crime fund.