Drunk, drug-impaired drivers fill Charlottetown court

Jim Day jday@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on January 23, 2016

Chief provincial court judge Nancy Orr.

©Submitted photo

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.