There are a lot of feelings you could have when you’re about to appear in court and be sentenced for impaired driving: fear, apprehension, and extreme stress come to mind, but that’s not how one man in Saskatoon felt at his hearing, at least not at first.
Kirby Thomas was arrested for impaired driving after a long day of impaired driving. He was called into police at 8 in the morning for swerving all over the road in his Cadillac. Later that day, he was involved in a hit and run after striking another car. An hour after the hit and run, someone reported a man staggering across a road before getting into a car, and soon after someone else called him in for impaired driving after he passed through a McDonald’s drive-thru window. Police pulled him over after his snack and although he appeared heavily intoxicated, he refused a breathalyzer.
Turns out Thomas had a prior impaired driving conviction and was ordered by the court not to drink alcohol. That’s why an impaired driver treatment program report was prepared for his hearing. Unfortunately for Thomas, he declined to enter treatment before his sentencing date because he didn’t feel he had a problem with alcohol.
What happened next probably made him re-assess that decision: the judge told him that he was on his way to jail for three months. He’ll also receive 9 months probation. He was immediately handcuffed and taken to jail.
This case is a great example for all offenders about to go to their own sentencing hearings: if you think you’re calling the shots, think again. Although provincial and federal governments create impaired driving penalties, a judge can use his or her discretion to impose a sentence that fits the crime. In this judge’s opinion, jail time was the best option for keeping the offender off the roads.