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Drunk driver who hit pedestrian in Charlottetown gets 45-day sentence

FILE PHOTO: Provincial courthouse in Charlottetown.  ©THE GUARDIAN
Provincial courthouse in Charlottetown. - SaltWire file
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

A 35-year-old man who hit a woman while he was driving drunk then lied to the police about it was sentenced Thursday to 45 days in jail.

Davie Leonard Atkinson appeared before Chief Judge Jeff Lantz in provincial court in Charlottetown where he pleaded guilty to drunk driving.

Crown attorney Jeff MacDonald told the court that on Nov. 21 at around 12:15 a.m., Atkinson was driving on University Avenue and hit a pedestrian at a crosswalk as he was making a turn.

MacDonald said two passengers got out of the vehicle and Atkinson left, although he later returned.

The court heard Atkinson tried to mislead the police by saying someone else was driving but the passengers confirmed it was him.

MacDonald said the victim had some bruising on her leg and foot from the collision. 

Atkinson later provided breathalyzer samples that were above the legal limit.

In his submissions, MacDonald said it was only by the “greatest of fortune” that the victim didn’t have injuries that were worse than they were.

MacDonald also said Atkinson was extremely fortunate he wasn’t facing charges of leaving the scene of an accident or impaired driving causing bodily harm.

Defence lawyer Alex Dalton told the court Atkinson has underlying mental health issues and that alcohol may also be an issue for him.

The incident was a bit of a wake-up call for him, Dalton said.

She also said Atkinson was fortunate the victim’s injuries weren’t worse.

“It’s pure luck,” Dalton said.

Before hearing his sentence, Atkinson addressed the court and said he couldn’t believe he was driving after drinking.

“I feel bad,” he said.

In sentencing Atkinson, Lantz said the victim has some fear walking along the streets in Charlottetown since the incident.

With the jail time, Atkinson will be on probation for one year and will be subject to a one-year driving prohibition.

Lantz also ordered him to pay $360 in restitution to the victim for lost wages after she missed work because of the accident. 

Ryan Ross is The Guardian's justice reporter.

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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