Driver jailed for multiple offences

Maureen Coulter
Published on March 23, 2016

Man jailed for multiple driving offences

A range of recent driving-related charges has landed Arthur Joseph Roberts in jail for almost a year.

The 41-year-old appeared in provincial court March 15 and was sentenced to 360 days for driving a vehicle while disqualified, impaired driving, evading police and refusing a drug exam.

On Dec. 7, 2015, city police were dispatched to Mel's gas station on St. Peters Road after receiving a report of an erratic driver who stopped at the location to get gas.

The driver was reported to be all over the road before pulling into the station. Using a description of the vehicle, the police conducted a traffic stop on St. Peters Road by the KFC.

Police asked Roberts for his licence, registration and insurance, and Roberts said he didn't have them. A check on Roberts revealed he was a prohibited driver and that his licence had been suspended until 2023.

Roberts was charged with driving while disqualified and was screened to see if he was impaired while driving.

Before Roberts could appear in court for that charge, Queens RCMP were patrolling Route 2 near Dunstaffnage on Feb. 17, 2016, when they noted an older pickup truck rounding a corner. They recognized the suspect truck of prohibited driver Arthur Roberts and conducted a licence check to confirm he still had a driving prohibition.

Because of Roberts' history, the RCMP followed Roberts from a distance and waited until he was stopped before attempting to pull him over. However, as they put their lights on in advance of pulling him over in a residential area, Roberts took an abrupt right hand turn at a high rate of speed and eventually drove into a snow-covered field.

Roberts was arrested and handcuffed. While walking to the patrol car, the RCMP noticed that Roberts was unsteady on his feet, his speech was slurred and his eyes were red and watery.

After passing a breathalyzer test, he was taken to the station to be evaluated by a drug recognition expert. However, Roberts eventually refused to comply and was charged with refusing a drug exam.

The crown stated that Roberts does have a recent related record from April 15, 2015, for dangerously operating a vehicle and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. Roberts was on probation at the time of these offences.

"He has four serious driving offences that are before the court. He's got a serious record," said crown prosecutor Nathan Beck.

He has previous driving-related records for impaired driving, failing to stop for police and driving while disqualified.

Defence attorney Thane MacEachern said Roberts had a number of things going on in his life, including personal difficulties and addiction issues.

Judge John Douglas sentenced Roberts to 360 days less 40 days credit for time served. Roberts is also on a four-year driving prohibition and 24 months probation.

"Hopefully, you can stay off the road," said Douglas.