Summerside drunk driver sentenced to 18 months in jail

Published on August 25, 2014

Scales of justice

SUMMERSIDE — A 62-year-old Summerside man was sentenced to 18 months in jail after pleading guilty Thursday in Summerside provincial court to a charge of impaired driving and a second charge of driving while disqualified.

Summerside police stopped Michael Joseph Chaisson on June 3 on Granville Street after receiving a complaint of an impaired driver.

A breathalyzer demand was made and Chaisson recorded readings of 280 and 260 —triple the legal limit.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Jeff Lantz said that Chaisson has a lengthy record related to impaired driving charges from 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013.

On the 2013 charge, Chaisson was sentenced to 11 months in jail and lost his driving privileges for five years.

Lantz said the most recent jail term didn’t seem to keep Chaisson from drinking and driving.

“There’s no law against being an alcoholic but when you drive a car it becomes a criminal matter,” Lantz said.

With the number of impaired driving offenses on his record, Chaisson has had no serious accidents or injured anyone, a fact that Lantz attributed to “more good luck, than anything else.”

Along with the 18-month jail term on the impaired charge, Chaisson was sentenced to 180 days concurrent on the driving while disqualified charge.

He was placed on probation for 18 months and lost his driving privileges for eight years.

Chaisson was also ordered to pay a victim fine surcharge of $400.