Update: The sentencing for Myers is in; six months house arrest and a two year driving suspension. Lucky for him he works from home…. Wonder if his petition to be allowed out periodically to go to court on his clients’ behalf will succeed or if he’ll even make one?
I was skimming CBC.ca for interesting local news when my eyes zeroed in on the words “lawyer” and “impaired driving”. Following the link, I gleaned the salient details that Owen Myers, a local lawyer, was intoxicated in September, got behind the wheel of his car, drive through the centre of town and rammed into another car, whose passenger was thereby injured. Stupid, right? It gets better.
The legal threshold for blood alcohol content is 0.08% in Canada. There has been some good argument for lowering this to 0.05%, but it’s still in the Criminal Code at 0.08%. Apparently they don’t usually charge people unless they read in at 0.09% or over, allowing a margin of error, kind of like the 10 kph variance that people frequently read into the speed limits.
Myles is listed as having more than three times the legal amount at the time of the accident. That’s over 0.24%. That is completely and utterly shit-faced, if you’ll pardon my language. Smashed (literally, as it turns out). To put it in context, most first-time drinkers will pass out at 0.15% and the point of alcohol poisoning is 0.35%.
So he pleads guilty, tells a sob story about how this has changed his life and how he hasn’t had a drink since then. He may be telling the truth. He’s a lawyer, remember, so it may also be that his truth is coloured by his ability to put the best possible spin on a situation.
What is utterly clear is that he lacks good judgement. To be that drunk and driving? Crazy.
He’s just bloody lucky that the woman was in a car and wasn’t a pedestrian or cyclist.
Give him the nine months and make him serve part of it in actual prison. Some people need to learn the hard way.
For those interested, have a look below at Canada’s penalties for driving while impaired (taken from Criminal and Administrative Procedures for Dealing with DWI Offenders in Canada).
When next you have a drink or two, and think it’s really important that you drive somewhere, think about the following:
- is this trip important enough to you to warrant only doing it once in the next three years? If you’re pulled over, your license is kaput.
- do you have $5000 in your bank account to cover your legal fees and other financial spin-offs? Being found guilty is expensive.
- can you picture going through life labelled a murderer? It only takes one slip of the wrist or lapse in reaction time, remember.
- do you care about the person in the car with you? You might never see them again.
- do you really think life insurance can compensate for your death? It won’t.
- what will your kids think?
- will you still have kids?
- do you care about your career? Remember, some professions can kick you out for that sort of a lapse in judgement.
It ain’t worth it. If you drink at all, don’t drive. Once alcohol enters your blood stream, you are no longer a good judge of how competent you are.
If you’re going to need to drive and want to drink with friends, have a soda with friends.
I hear they taste better than the ones in jail.
Criminal Code Penalties for Impaired Driving Offences
|Prohibition from Driving||Fine||Jail|
|Impaired Driving (or Over 80 mg% or Refuse to Provide Sample)||1st Offence||Summary||3 to 36 months||$300 to $2,000||0 to 6 months|
|Indictment||3 to 36 months||$300+ (no limit)||0 to 5 years|
|2nd Offence||Summary||6 to 36 months||$300 to $2,000||14 days to 6 months|
|Indictment||6 to 36 months||$300+ (no limit)||14 days to 5 years|
|3rd+ Offence||Summary||12 to 36 months||$300 to $2,000||90 days to 6 months|
|Indictment||12 to 36 months||$300+ (no limit)||90 days to 5 years|
|Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm||Indictment||up to 10 years||no limit||up to 10 years|
|Impaired Driving Causing Death||Indictment||up to 10 years||no limit||up to 10 years|