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Repeat drunk driver in P.E.I. who threw keys away jailed

The RCMP says impaired driving is up in P.E.I.
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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

A P.E.I. woman who threw her keys into the woods and told police they couldn’t arrest her for drunk driving because they didn’t catch her in the act was sentenced recently to 12 days in jail.

Lorna Ann Stewart, 60, appeared before Chief Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court in Charlottetown where she pleaded guilty to drunk driving in Stanhope.

Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Crown attorney Nathan Beck told the court that on Aug. 1 at around 9:15 p.m. the RCMP responded to a report from one of Stewart’s friends.

Beck said the friend told police Stewart had just left, she was intoxicated and was in a very bad state emotionally.

The friend told police she was concerned about Stewart’s safety.

Beck said the RCMP found Stewart about 1.5 hours later and she told police they couldn’t arrest her because they didn’t catch her driving.

Stewart, who couldn’t stand without help, threw her keys into the woods, Beck said.

The court heard she later provided breathalyzer samples that were 1.5 times the legal limit.

Before hearing her sentence, Stewart said she doesn’t normally drink any more. 

“I apologize profusely to the court,” she said.

She also told the court she took melatonin and serotonin, which had an impact on her.  

Stewart, who had a prior related conviction in 2006, asked Orr to give her a fine instead of jail time.

Orr gave Stewart both, sentencing her to 12 days in jail and fining her $1,500. 

Stewart must also pay a $450 victim surcharge and is banned from driving for one year.

Ryan Ross is the justice reporter for The Guardian.

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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