June 18th, 2024

Impaired hit and run driver receives sizeable fine

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on October 28, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A hit and run in Lethbridge earlier this year has netted a Lethbridge man a hefty fine and a driving prohibition.

Colin Garner was driving his vehicle on the westside during the early morning hours of Feb. 26 when he struck a pick-up truck, but instead of stopping he drove away. At about 1:23 a.m. an officer, who had been provided Garner’s licence plate number, was parked at the entrance to the stadium near the University of Lethbridge, and while trying to determine Garner’s address, the suspect drove past the officer.

The officer pulled the vehicle over and as he spoke to Garner he could smell stale liquor from his breath and took note of his slow movement and other indicators of impairment.

Garner was arrested for impaired driving and taken to the police station where he provided breath samples that showed his blood-alcohol level was double the legal limit.

Garner, 58, who did not have a previous criminal record, pleaded guilty recently in Lethbridge provincial court to one count of driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit. Additional charges of impaired driving and dangerous driving were withdrawn and he was fined $2,000 and prohibited from driving for one year.

Sherwood Park lawyer Alexander Brophy said the consequences of Garner’s actions will have an additional impact on him because he will not be able to continue working as a long-haul truck driver.

“Obviously there is a very major collateral consequence in the disruption to his employment that will happen as a result of his guilty plea,” Brophy said. “That will be very significant to Mr. Garner as he will no longer be able to work in his chosen profession for at least a year, likely considerably longer.”

Brophy added his client has not had a drink since the offence.

“This incident was a wake-up call for Mr. Garner. He’s not touched alcohol since then and he’s been attending AA meetings.”

Judge John Maher warned Garner not to drive until he gets his licence back, or he could go to jail.

“It is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to five years, for you to operate a motor vehicle anywhere in Canada while your right to do so is disqualified by law.”

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