A P.E.I. provincial court judge spared an impaired driver jail time, saying he did not want to inconvenience the motorist.
Judge John Douglas noted Knight Alexander Simon, 19, of New Brunswick did not expect to be placed in custody when he appeared in court recently to plead guilty to operating a conveyance on May 27 in Charlottetown while over the legal blood-alcohol count (BAC) – well over, in fact.
Jail time is rare for first offenders in New Brunswick, but judges have the authority to add custody to a sentence in the presence of other aggravating factors like driving unsafely or having an excessively high blood-alcohol count, according to DUI.ca, a website which provides a breakdown of impaired driving information province by province.
Strict penalties, however, are the norm for impaired driving convictions in Prince Edward Island.
Chief Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr regularly chastises impaired drivers and highlights what she considers a high incidence of the offence in P.E.I.
Douglas typically gives one-day jail sentences to motorists convicted for the first time of impaired driving if there are no aggravating factors.
Repeat offenders draw lengthier jail time.
If a motorist is convicted of impaired driving causing bodily harm to others, he or she can face substantially stiffer consequences. A man from Prince Edward Island was recently sentenced to five years imprisonment for causing a woman's death behind the wheel.
Simon did receive more than a simple wrap on the knuckles.
He was fined $1,500 and is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle for one year, both automatic penalties for his offence.
There were grumblings in the courtroom that Simon, regardless of where he lives, should have been placed in jail just like any other motorist convicted of impaired driving on P.E.I.