Two men pleaded guilty to .08 charges in Estevan Provincial Court on Monday. In each case, the men charged specifically, “has, within two hours after ceasing to operate a conveyance, a blood alcohol concentration that is equal to or exceeds 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.” This is commonly referred to as .08 blood alcohol content.
Cameron D. Gedak, 30, was first up, and pleaded guilty to a .08 charge.
Crown prosecutor Mitch Crumley said that on March 6, police observed Gedak driving erratically in the Beefeater parking lot before turning eastbound on King Street. Following him, they saw him stop abruptly several times, and cross over the snow into the other lane. He stopped two blocks later.
Police observed slurred speech and the smell of alcohol from Gedak. Crumley noted Gedak admitted to having consumed “five drinks and some shots” before driving.
Once in the police cruiser, he climbed through the partition window to the front seat and exited the front door. He was caught and taken into custody.
Gedak got an incarceration sentence of 34 days such that he could take part in a 28-day treatment program in Prince Albert starting this Friday. His lawyer, Susan Wurtz, said, “He knows he needs to address his drinking. He wanted to do the treatment.”
He netted a $1,000 fine and a one-year driving prohibition. Judge Michelle Brass gave him 10 months to pay the fine.
Alvin Holinaty, pleaded guilty to a .08 charge after he drove his semi into a ditch on March 9.
Estevan Police Service got a complaint of a vehicle in a ditch, and the person who called in was Holinaty’s employer.
Holinaty had gotten stuck in a ditch previously, and the employer pulled him out. He got stuck a second time, and this time the employer wouldn’t pull him out. This time he called the police.
Judge Brass asked Crumley, “He was driving a semi?”
“Yes,” the prosecutor replied.
The semi tractor was on the road, and the trailer was in the ditch when police arrived. They smelled alcohol, and observed a paper bag from a liquor store on the floor of the semi.
Holinaty blew ,150 and .130, in excess of the legal blood alcohol limit of .08.
Crumley said, “This is a very large vehicle, and presents a significant risk to the safety of the public.”
He called for a higher fine of $1,800 instead of $1,500, in addition to a one-year driving prohibition.
Wurtz said Holinaty was 51 years old, with no prior criminal record or prior alcohol abuse. He had been a commercial trucker for 20-25 years, but he has been unemployed since the incident. He is collecting disability, but it’s not a lot compared to his bills. She asked for the minimum fine of $1,500, as well as the ability to ask for an ignition interlock after three months. She also asked for 12 months to pay the fine.
“My biggest concern here is that it was a semi truck you were driving,” Brass told Holinaty.
She imposed a $1,600 fine and a one-year driving prohibition, but the ability to ask for an ignition interlock after three months.