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'This is very serious'

Andrew Livingstone
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, April 14, 2010

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - A Yellowknife man was sentenced to one year in jail and is banned from driving for seven years after pleading guilty last Thursday to his sixth impaired driving charge.

Judge Brian Bruser said Randolph Molnar, 45, didn't understand the severity of his growing number of impaired driving charges and said the public would shudder at what Molnar stated in the pre-sentence report.

"I didn't think about it, I just drove," Bruser said, reading Molnar's response to his actions on July 24 last year.

Molnar was stopped downtown at close to 10 p.m. after police received a report of a green Dodge truck driving erratically. When the RCMP asked to see his licence, Molnar told them in a slurred voice that he didn't have one.

When he got out of the truck, Molnar fell and was unable to stand without holding onto the truck. He was arrested, given a breathalyzer test and blew just shy of three times the legal limit, a fact Crown prosecutor Marc Lecorre said was "extremely aggravating."

Lecorre considered Molnar's pre-sentence report "negative" because it recommended Molnar not be considered for probation in this case.

"He chose to drive knowing the consequences if he got behind the wheel," Lecorre said, adding the community needs to see repeat offenders getting stiff jail time if they re-offend. "The accused doesn't get it at all."

Defence lawyer Serge Petitpas admitted Molnar's criminal record is "atrocious" due to the five previous impaired driving convictions going as far back as 1984.

His client had been given a four-year driving prohibition in 2005 after pleading guilty to impaired driving then.

While Petitpas agreed jail time was the only option, he hoped the court would recognize Molnar's past history of being abused, both physically and emotionally, adding the pre-sentence report provides insight into how his "patterns came about."

However, Bruser said his past abuse was no excuse for his continued issues with impaired driving. The judge said Molnar continues to be a "significant ongoing risk" and "the danger to people and property is real and continues to be substantial."

On top of the year in jail and seven year driving ban, Molnar, upon release from jail, will not be allowed to be in any licenced establishments besides restaurants for one year.

"I think you should be barred from drinking," Bruser said. "This (ban) will keep you out of the bars."

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