Out of all of the impaired driving stories in Canada, one of the biggest is that of Christy Natsis, a dentist from the Ottawa area. She made headlines several years ago for impaired driving causing death, and now a judge has finally handed down her sentence.
After having a few glasses of wine one evening in March of 2011, Dr.Natsis drove away in her vehicle. On her way out of the parking lot she struck a parked car, then proceeded to head home on a highway. She was weaving in her lane and strayed into the oncoming lane with her vehicle, striking Bryan Casey’s SUV head on. Mr.Casey died from his injuries.
Dr.Natis made the decision to plead not guilty to impaired driving causing death, driving with a blood alcohol level of over 80 causing death, and dangerous driving causing death. Although her breathalyzer test showed she was 2 ½ times the legal limit, her over 80 charge was thrown out because a judge deemed that police had violated her charter rights when they obtained the sample.
Before she was sentenced, Dr.Natis also breached her condition of not consuming alcohol. Police officers spotted her purchasing a bottle of vodka and took her into custody for breach. The judge took that into consideration when sentencing, because she received an extra 40 days on top of her five years in jail for buying alcohol when required not to. She was also given a four year driving ban.
For their part, the family of Brian Casey are happy to see that the offender has been properly punished. After a long road to justice, they can finally begin to put the nightmare behind them and pick up the pieces of their lives. Unfortunately that also means moving on without their husband, son, and dad, and that’s the true tragedy of impaired driving. No matter how the offender is punished, it doesn’t bring back the victim.