A Stratford man who woke up in his car to an RCMP officer shaking him after he parked in a stranger’s driveway was found guilty Tuesday of being drunk while having care and control of his vehicle.
Gregory Robert Mahen, 42, appeared before Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court in Charlottetown Tuesday for trial on the July incident.
Orr sentenced him to serve three days in jail and ordered him to pay a $1,200 fine, along with $180 to the victims of crime fund.
During the trial, the court heard that on July 12, at around 3:20 a.m., a Cornwall resident went outside to have a smoke when she noticed a car parked at the end of her driveway. She saw Mahen, who she didn’t know, inside the car so she called 911 to report she thought he was sleeping.
When an RCMP officer arrived he noticed the car was parked at an awkward angle, and when his attempts to wake Mahen by tapping on the window were unsuccessful he opened the door to shake him awake.
The RCMP officer testified he asked Mahen if he knew where he was to which he responded Countryview Golf Club and was waiting to go home. That course was about 11 kilometres away.
Mahen later testified he misunderstood the officer’s question and was at Countryview earlier in the night, which is where he works.
After seeing signs Mahen had been drinking, including slurred speech and the smell of liquor on his breath, the officer arrested him. When he gave breathalyzer samples, Mahen’s blood alcohol level was more than 1½ times the legal limit.
During his testimony, Mahen admitted to drinking before driving, saying he had two coolers and a glass of several ounces of rye mixed with pop.
He told the court he was driving home to Stratford when he decided to pull over because he was feeling tired and didn’t want to fall asleep while driving.
Mahen said he was scheduled to work at 6 a.m. and his plan was to wake up when his phone’s alarm went off at 5 a.m. so he could call his boss, let the person know what was happening and possibly take the day off.
In his closing arguments, Crown attorney Jeff MacDonald said Mahen gave his breathalyzer samples around the same time his alarm was set to go off and there was a possibility he would have driven again while impaired if he hadn’t been arrested.
Orr said she was satisfied Mahen had care and control of his car and he showed poor judgment when he decided to drive after drinking.
She also said his plan was full of risks and it was all going to depend on how he felt when his alarm woke him up, at which time his blood alcohol level would have been above the legal limit.
Along with the jail time and fine, Mahen is banned from driving for one year.