Drunk driver who killed Edmonton woman gets day parole

Ryan Ross
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Clarence Arnold Moase hit Elizabeth Sovis with his van while she was cycling with her husband in 2012

Clarence Arnold Moase has been granted day parole.

A Kensington man who was driving drunk when he killed a 63-year-old cyclist from Alberta has been granted day parole.

But in granting Clarence Arnold Moase’s day parole, the Parole Board of Canada denied his request for full parole, saying it would present an undue risk to society.

Moase has been serving out a six-year prison sentence for drunk driving causing death after he hit Elizabeth Sovis with his van while she was cycling with her husband on vacation in P.E.I. in 2012.

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Moase’s blood alcohol level was almost three times the legal limit at the time.

The judge in the case gave Moase 214 days credit for time served and imposed a lifetime driving ban.

It was Moase’s fifth drunk driving conviction.

Since the accident, Sovis’s husband, Edmund Aunger, has filed a lawsuit against Moase, who in turn is suing the restaurant that served him liquor before he drove.

After reviewing Moase’s case, the Parole Board of Canada decided to grant day parole under certain conditions. Those conditions included that Moase refrain from consuming, buying or possessing alcohol. He is also banned from any businesses where the primary source of income comes from the sale or consumption of alcohol.

Since his incarceration, Moase has been undergoing treatment for alcoholism, including attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in prison and in the community through escorted temporary absences.

In the parole board’s report, it said Moase told the board during his hearing that he finally realized his addiction was a disease and prior to attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings he had been in denial.

The board asked Moase how he could have multiple convictions for drunk driving and not realize he had a problem, to which he responded that he had difficulty explaining his thought process other than maybe being “pig headed.”

Upon his release on day parole, Moase planned to live in a halfway house where he would be supervised and where any problematic behaviours could be addressed quickly.

Moase told the board his biggest challenge in maintaining sobriety would be avoiding familiar situations, such as hanging out with people who use alcohol and going to places where alcohol is consumed.

But while the board accepted Moase’s day parole plan, it didn’t view as favourably his full parole plan, which involved living with an intimate partner. That setting wouldn’t have the proper safeguards that are consistent with his level of risk, the board said.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Parole Board of Canada, Alcoholics Anonymous

Geographic location: Edmonton, Kensington, Alberta P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • Corey
    June 18, 2014 - 14:53

    Like I said before.....If you want to kill someone and get away with it just come to PEI have a few drinks and run them over. This justice system is a complete joke!! I feel so sorry for the family of the deceased knowing this guy is getting day parole. Imagine knowing your loved ones life was only worth 500+ days in jail! I am ashamed to be an Islander!!

  • same story
    June 18, 2014 - 12:41

    to huh. The reason for anonymity is for the reason you just said . If he goes out and get drunk again the skeptics like you can say look at that , a lot of good A.A. is.

  • Ashley
    June 18, 2014 - 11:54

    FIVE TIMES! The fact that he is attempting to ruin a small business as a result of his own bad choices that resulted in the death of an innocent woman is sickening. I read nothing about his remorse or taking responsibility for his actions. They should keep him in prison. He is a murderer.

  • Wake Up!
    June 18, 2014 - 10:13

    Really? Day parole for a fifth impaired driving conviction that resulted in the death of an innocent person? How did the Justice/Judge come to his sentencing decision? It appears on the outside that he failed to consider the sentencing goals of our legal system! There is no general or specific deterrence gained! I feel that this sentence has actually brought the administration of justice into disrepute. It has established a precedent that will be used in any future cases, how is this going to solve the ongoing problem on the island of Impaired driving. This individual, after 4 previous convictions, made the conscious decision to drive a 5th time!! Sure, now he has a lifetime ban on driving... but something tells me that's not going to stop this individual from driving, and it's quite difficult for Law Enforcement Officers to enforce. To me the statement that the Judge/Justice put forth with his sentencing decision is that driving while impaired isn't that big of a deal, and you're not responsible for your actions while driving under the influence of alcohol. Sicking! This Justice/Judge should step down!

  • ONCE AGAIN
    June 18, 2014 - 09:13

    Once again we see the total inadequacy of the justice system. Victims carry on with your lives and criminals get pampered. Is our society getting to the point where it is all dollars and no sense. Governments are so concerned about it costing to put CONVICTED criminals in jail that they are making a total farce of our justice system. Just weeks ago three law enforcement officers lost their lives trying to uphold the law. FOR WHAT, so the justice system could let criminals go. It is a very rare ocassion when someone actually goes to jail. The very least and I mean the very least that our justice system could do is ensure they do the time there were sentenced to. Please no more part time sentences to save money. This is one way that the Americans have it right. Do the crime do the time. Life means life not 20 years less a day. 5 years means 5 years not one sixth of five years. Time for changes.

  • Ex Islander
    June 18, 2014 - 08:52

    What scares me most about this guy is he still doesn't take responsibility for HIS choices. Evidence of that is clear in his lawsuit against the restaurant. By suing them, he's telling us all that it was their fault this tragedy happened. He serves less than 2 years for taking a life, the sentence, judge and parol board all disgust me. Disease my ass, just an easy out to blame lack of control. Cancer to the common cold are diseases, putting a glass to your mouth is a choice. If you think I don't understand this, I have alchoholic family and an ex. Drinking was always a choice, not a disease.

  • Penalties Alone Won't Work
    June 18, 2014 - 08:36

    I don't think there should be a vehicle allowed on the road without a functioning interlock ignition device. Make it part of the yearly motor vehicle inspection. Institute huge penalties for anyone trying to bypass or assisting anyone to bypass the system. It wouldn't stop all drinking and driving but it would certainly reduce it. If anyone thinks that is an infringement on our rights I certainly think it is a reasonable price to pay to have some assurance that the vehicle coming at me and my family is not being driven by someone who is impaired.

  • Sandy
    June 18, 2014 - 06:12

    Doesn't the Island have laws on the books for vehicular manslaughter. This screams it.

  • One small voice
    June 17, 2014 - 20:37

    not to make excuses but I find it interesting that witness reports indicated that bartender working that day just let him leave the bar, she even warned him the cops were out! the problem with intoxication is that it impairs the ability to adequately determine one's level's of intoxication as much as it impairs the ability to operate a vehicle.

    • justin
      June 17, 2014 - 23:56

      The guy is an adult and has been a legal adult for many years. Blaming the bar or anyone else for his own disgusting behaviour is just cop out. I hope the bar wins their case against Moase and the husband wins his case against Moase. Maybe if he losses everything he owns or his family owns he might finally smarten up but I am not holding my breathe to that. poverty might just do him some good.

  • Islander
    June 17, 2014 - 20:22

    I do not agree with drinking and driving and yes this lady lost her life but by bashing this man will not bring her back everyone is so up righteous like you never ever did anything wrong that you might have regretted doing. I don't care who you are everyone makes mistakes this man has a sickness and no one better then him knows the wrong he has done .

    • Chris
      June 18, 2014 - 01:22

      How many chances should he have. How many lives should be lost. It's not about being self righteous , it's about justice. A husband lost his wife. A family lost a mother. What did we gain a loser with another opportunity to murder someone. He should be rotting in a jail cell. He doesn't deserve any freedom after he selfishly destroyed that women's life. What the hell is wrong with you? Are you his drinking partner? The guy is a career drunk. He needs to dry out permanently .

    • huh
      June 18, 2014 - 05:38

      wow. Talk about understating the issue. Everyone makes mistakes, eh? And you make that comment in the context of a drunk driver causing death? I am righteous because I condemn what he did? Yeah...right.

  • pattycakes
    June 17, 2014 - 18:53

    I just can't help but feel there is so much tragedy in this story. The family that lost there wife and mother. The family that has their dad and husband in jail. The driver will live with this pain for the rest of his life and the family will live with pain for the rest of their lives. The real culprit here is once again, Addiction. The beyond sad thing about addiction is sometimes it takes such a tragedy to finally get past denial. There is no amount of money or blame that will heal either party. A lot of work needs to be done around forgiveness, for both parties. To have to live with that amount of pain and anger will be devestating if there is ever hope for healing. The public, can be very judgemental and crusifying but remember,maybe next time it might be someone we know or love that gets into trouble. Be kind with your comments for all that have suffered enough pain with this. Everyone makes poor choices and mistakes, EVERYONE.

    • Louis
      June 17, 2014 - 20:11

      And maybe next time it's someone you love that loses their life because someone decided to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Sorry but I don't feel any sympathy for someone who has been caught 5 times for drunk driving and took a life. If he has to live with guilt the rest of his life, good because that is a small price to pay compared to the price that was paid by the woman he killed

    • Everyone Makes Mistakes
      June 18, 2014 - 08:16

      There is a difference between "making a mistake" and making "a choice" . Knowing impaired driving can KILL and that it is against the law, he chose to drink and drive. I know pointing a loaded gun is a mistake. Pulling the trigger would be a choice!!!

  • no justice
    June 17, 2014 - 18:23

    He killed a lady..he serves a few days and has the gall to ask for full parole? they give him day parole..just think....a few days for killing someone! He has been handed a reward!instead of justice. Makes me sick to see what our so called *justice* system has turned into.

  • Brian C
    June 17, 2014 - 17:14

    So sad to see this guy back in our society to probably drink and drive again...........no justice at all.

  • Joe Blow
    June 17, 2014 - 17:05

    The bartender working that day just let him leave the bar, she even warned him the cops were out!

    • Bill
      June 17, 2014 - 22:17

      yeah blame the bartender...that's it now!!!!

  • Crow Lady
    June 17, 2014 - 15:58

    What a joke!!! An insult to the family of the deceased. Put him in jail and throw away the key forever!!!! When will people realize drinking and driving is dangerous.

  • Ridiculous!
    June 17, 2014 - 15:55

    Absolutely a joke! Punishment definitely did not fit the crime in this case, and many other drunk driving cases. There absolutely needs to be harsher consequences enforced for such idiotic and wreckless behaviour.

  • enough already
    June 17, 2014 - 15:30

    Anonymity at the level of press , radio and film are one of the basic guide lines of A.A. . It is a shame that the local press no longer follows those guidelines .

    • Jackofalltrades
      June 17, 2014 - 18:13

      Someone who is drinking gets behind the wheel of a vehicle and takes someone else's life doesn't deserve anonymity

    • huh
      June 18, 2014 - 05:34

      There's no basis for anonymity in this case. Likely, his AA attendance played a role in his parole and was part of his sentence for drunk driving causing death.

  • disguisted
    June 17, 2014 - 14:12

    it's sickening that this guy has the gaul to sue the restaurant where he purchased alcohol before HE decided to drive drunk... that shows a complete failure to take responsibility for his own poor judgment and behaviour.

    • don
      June 17, 2014 - 16:21

      disguisted. i agree with you and i reread the stories link in this paper and did not see he admit he was wrong. but he wants to put the blame on the restaurant he is over 21 and the RCMP found a 1/2 bottle of vodka in his van. back then the restaurant could NOT sell bottles of booze so where did he get it? and he was ordered by the court to get help but never did. and as his wife said he is a good hubby when sober. she knew he had no licence so why did she not call the police? to me she is just as much to blame as the useless dunk murder. and he should never ever see the outside of a prison till he dies. but i wonder how long before he is drunk again?

  • Crow Lady
    June 17, 2014 - 13:42

    What a joke!!! An insult to the family of the deceased. Put him in jail and throw away the key forever!!!! When will people realize drinking and driving is dangerous.

    • Fed Up
      June 17, 2014 - 20:23

      This is very sad,A poor innocent woman gets killed and this bozo tries to put the guilt on someone else.Should never of been given any type of parole until he takes full responsibility for his own actions.What a system,guaranteed he will do it again!!!