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Drunk driver gets 135 days in jail

Tim Edwards
Northern News Services
Published Monday, August 1, 2011

A man who was convicted last year of impaired driving causing bodily harm didn't learn from his mistakes - he was convicted of impaired driving again, among other offences, in territorial court on Thursday.

Aaron Catholique, 31, pleaded guilty to impaired operation of a snowmobile, driving while prohibited, driving a vehicle without the owner's permission, and resisting arrest, all stemming from one day in Lutsel K'e last December, plus a breach of a condition not to drink from July 13.

"Someone was hurt, yet six months later you are in the same condition driving a snowmobile," said Judge Bernadette Schmaltz before sentencing him to 135 days in jail, minus 15 he'd already spent in custody.

He was convicted of impaired driving causing bodily harm on June 29, 2010, and given a two-and-a-half-year driving ban as well as 60 days in jail. On Dec. 13 of the same year, police in Lutsel K'e received a tip that Catholique was driving around the community intoxicated on a yellow snowmobile between 3 and 3:15 p.m.

A police officer found him shortly after, trying to start the snowmobile outside a house. When the officer approached him, Catholique's balance was poor and he was groggy, showing signs of intoxication, and his words were incomprehensible.

"The officer could not understand what he was saying to him," said Crown prosecutor Danielle Vaillancourt as she read the facts of the case into court on Thursday.

All the while, Catholique kept his hand on the throttle, revving the engine to keep it going. He did not own the snowmobile, nor did he have permission to drive it.

When the police officer tried to arrest him for impaired driving, he went into a "fighting stance" and resisted the officer's attempts to handcuff him until the officer had to call for assistance.

Eventually the officer pepper-sprayed and successfully arrested Catholique, and brought him into the detachment where he kept saying he wanted to go home.

In the detachment cell, later that day, Catholique was banging on cell doors, screaming with no recollection of why he was in there.

Six months later, on July 13, while on a condition not to drink, Catholique was found sitting drunk in front of the Co-op store by RCMP and kept in custody until his conviction Thursday.

On top of his jail sentence, he will be on probation for one year and prohibited from driving for an additional three years after his current driving ban expires.

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