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Man passes out behind the wheel

Cara Loverock
Northern News Services
Published Friday, December 12, 2008

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - A Yellowknife man was fined $1,200 and given a one-year driving prohibition in territorial court on Tuesday after police found him passed out drunk behind the wheel of his car, which was parked in the middle of a road in Yellowknife.

Bradley Landry, 32, pleaded guilty to one charge of care and control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, stemming from an incident on Aug. 31.

Judge Robert Gorin told Landry he would have to re-qualify for his license once the one-year period had passed.

Crown prosecutor Shannon Smallwood told the court police had received a report at roughly 5 a.m. on Aug. 31 about a truck that was parked in the oncoming lane on Burwash Drive with the motor running and lights on.

When police arrived they found Landry passed out behind the wheel. He woke up and police asked him where he was. He reportedly told them he was in Iqaluit.

The driver exited the car and was swaying and staggering, said Smallwood. An RCMP officer repeatedly asked Landry for his licence and he eventually handed the officer a bill. Landry was arrested and taken to the RCMP detachment, where he was given a breathalyser test.

Smallwood said Landry had one previous conviction from 1997 for driving while intoxicated.

"The facts are serious," said Judge Gorin. "He was in a driving lane."

Gorin described Landry's state on the night in question as "heavily intoxicated."

The minimum sentence the court could impose for a summary conviction is a $1,000 fine and a one-year driving prohibition.

Had the Crown filed a notice to seek greater punishment, the minimum sentence would have been 30 days in jail, increased from 14 days since Parliament enacted stricter sentencing for driving offences this past July.