Drunk, drug-impaired drivers fill Charlottetown court

Jim Day
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FILE PHOTO: Judge Nancy Orr signs the oath of office given to her by Supreme Court Chief Justice Jacqueline Matheson (right) as the provincial court's chief judge.

Shawn Campbell, 44, of Charlottetown leads parade with 65 days in jail for seventh conviction

Most of the heavy traffic in provincial court in Charlottetown this week was fueled by impaired driving convictions.

Shawn Campbell, 44, of Charlottetown was, by a good stretch, the biggest repeat offender of the bunch.

The forestry worker was sentenced for his seventh drunk driving conviction since 1991.

He pleaded guilty to his latest offence of failing a breathalyzer on Aug. 16, 2015 with a reading more than twice the legal limit.

His lawyer told the court that Campbell "feels great remorse'' for his actions and has been addressing both a mental health condition and alcoholism.

"Something isn't working and something needs to change,'' said the defence lawyer.

Chief provincial court judge Nancy Orr sentenced Campbell to 65 days in jail and ordered him to perform 150 hours of free community service work for the benefit of Queens County Addiction Services.

He is also prohibited from driving a motor vehicle for two years.

Daniel Blake MacKenzie, 21, was sentenced to serve 75 days in jail on weekends, allowing him to maintain employment and pay off more than $3,000 owed in fines and surcharges, including money owing from a previous impaired driving conviction in 2013 that landed him in jail for five days.

On Monday, he pleaded guilty to failing a breathalyzer on Feb. 8, 2015 in Charlottetown.

He was pulled over by police after driving erratically in a parking lot.

Orr determined in court that MacKenzie had also been driving without a licence, even though he was not charged with that offence.

MacKenzie is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for two years.

Robert Wendall Vissey, 39, of Cornwall offered a little change of pace to the flow of impaired driving convictions Monday.

He was sentenced to serve three days for driving while impaired due to marijuana use on Oct. 29, 2015.

He was also sentenced three days each for one charge of possession of marijuana and one charge of possession of ecstasy.

All three sentences are to be served concurrently.

Orr also ordered Vissey to perform 150 hours of community work.

Deboarh Gregory Rush, 59, pleaded guilty for driving while disqualified on Sept. 24, 2015. She was disqualified as a result of an impaired driving conviction on March 30, 2015.

The court was told Rush's purpose for driving on Sept. 24 while disqualified was she wanted to buy some alcohol.

"Miss Rush is an alcoholic,'' her lawyer stated plainly.

Orr sentenced Rush to 40 days in jail to be served on an intermittent basis and ordered the woman to seek the help she needs.

Rush will be on probation for 18 months and cannot operate a motor vehicle for one year.

Colin James Molony, 36, pleaded guilty to failing a breathalyzer on Sept. 23. The reading was three times the legal limit.

He had a prior drunk driving conviction in 2004.

Orr sentenced Molony to 20 days in jail to be served intermittently to allow him to travel to Alberta to work.

The judge cautioned Molony the onus was on him to get to jail at the prescribed times or face a breach charge.

Hubert Jospeh Vanhul, 61, was sentenced to serve five days in jail on weekends and pay a $1,300 fine after he pleaded guilty Monday to failing a breathalyzer on Dec. 1.

Organizations: Queens County Addiction Services, Miss Rush

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Alberta, Cornwall

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Recent comments

  • Woody Allen Alda
    January 24, 2016 - 15:52


  • Angus
    January 24, 2016 - 11:30

    Islanders think they have problems now. Wait till our member of the Kardashian family legalizes weed. No test for it and the fun begins.

  • AL
    January 24, 2016 - 09:49

    How can the members of the PEI liquor commission and the MLA,s sleep at night, knowing the grief that is being caused by the products that they encourage people to purchase by increasing the places to purchase.

  • Take a closer look
    January 24, 2016 - 09:21

    Very sad in deed to see that the "island disease " still affects us after all the pr and publicity against drinking and driving. If you did a study or a post mortum on those before the court now and those in future you will proably see a pattern ,started drinking at an early age,alcohol was always part of their social life, and that no doubt alcohol causes problems with other aspects of their lives,social/relationship issues,work performance ,violence, you name it most of us have seen it........so it is not just alcoholism and it's various forms,including cross addictions to other substances that is causing problems in their lives,alcohol is just the catalyst.Yes they were apprehended but remember research tells us that those that do get picked have driven impaired/stoned on the average about 150 times.... and other people know it and do not report them. when the defence lawyer says ""Something isn't working and something needs to change,'' that something is his client and they need help but in most cases DO NOT want it unless something drastic happens..having their name in the paper is not drastic enough....If you have afamily member who drinks excessivly and drives a car boat,,snowmobile or ATV report them you would be doing them a favour and saving their life and somebody else's..and MAY they learn from it...making YOUR life and those of other islanders BETTER!

  • Joe Doe
    January 23, 2016 - 12:45


  • What's Up?
    January 23, 2016 - 11:13

    Was going through the window at Wendy's and overheard 2 young men as they were walking in. One was saying that he just had 3 beer while driving over and was beginning to feel the buzz.That was at 11:30 am. How many people need to be killed because of their lack of sense? We need to be bombarded by stories and pictures of what havoc they cause on our highways. It may get to a few.

    • Mike
      January 24, 2016 - 08:13

      Did you report the incident to police? If not, you are part of the problem as you allowed the young man to get away with it.

  • James
    January 23, 2016 - 10:51

    People should not be driving after drinking. This has been established a long time ago. PEI is notorious for this type conduct and has been for years. The press and the Justice system should take a hard look at identifying these individuals as drunks. Not everyone who is charged with impaired driving is a drunk. They are drinking and driving over the limit , completly unacceptanble but this does not suit the label of a drunk. Drunk people are usually hightly intoxicated. I know well to do professional people who by their own choice decided to drive after drinking. They have paid the price but to identify everyone as a drunk, in my opinion, is wrong. Its the repeat offenders 2nd, 3rd, 4th times etc that are the real concern to be addressed., these people have to fit into the definition of alcoholism and sentencing should be mandatory that he/she attend addictions treatment. We all make mistakes, whoever is perfect, please stand up. People are so quick to judge and never stop to clean out their own closets. Are we to believe no one in the Justice system drives while impaired? There will always be Impaired Drivers and this is really sad. As long as Government keeps advertizing and making it easy to purchase in corner store outlets etc this concern will continue. Like I said the repeat offenders are the ones who should get the max penalty.

  • Me
    January 23, 2016 - 10:27

    It's obvious the current laws are not a deterrent. I say six month jail time should be mandatory for a first DUI offence no deals no way to alter that by a lawyer you blow you go. It's the only way to put fear into people or make them take it seriously. And keep doubling the jail time each time the person is charged; second offence one year, third offence two years none of this "less a day crap" you go to prison, fourth offence four years in prison and so on. Pretty soon the roads will be clear of impaired drivers at least until the next generation starts up again but maybe by then the message will sink in. And this is for all DUI events which means alcohol (a drug) and other drugs i.e. recreational drugs.

  • WOW
    January 23, 2016 - 09:18

    The jail must certainly be full on weekends. Is there a sign at the door of the jail stating open on weekends only? These weekend sentences prove nothing and do nothing to deter people as can be seen by the number of return visits. If you are sentenced to 65 days or whatever and have to do that time all at once you will remember but if you do that sentence at your convience of a day or two at a time it is soon forgotten. As for granting weekends so a person can return to their jobs, Is that a punishment or a favour? Their are many people out their that obey the laws and would love to have those jobs. Get convicted and lose your job while in jail and you will remember that also before you do it again. Enough said.