An Inuvik woman who led police around town while driving three times the legal limit was given a four-digit fine and banned from driving for a year-and-a-half.
In Inuvik territorial court Nov. 22, the woman pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle with a high blood alcohol content. Judge Bernadette Schmaltz fined her $2,300 and barred her from driving for 18 months. As it is her first impaired driving conviction, Inuvik Drum has chosen not to name the woman.
“I regret everything I did that day,” said the woman in her defence.”I apologize.”
Crown prosecutor Angie Paquin told court RCMP got a call on Oct 8 about an impaired driver. The woman had been drinking all day and had been seen driving a white GMC truck. Police went on a patrol and found a vehicle matching the description parked at the Canada Post parking lot.
Officers followed the vehicle as it turned onto Veteran’s Way and then ran the red light onto MacKenzie Road. As police followed, the vehicle began to speed on what were icy roads. Police activated their warning lights but the vehicle continued to drive and accelerate through town.
“This can be avoided,” said Paquin. “There’s always other ways to get around town.”
Even when the RCMP turned on their sirens to motion the driver to pull over, she continued to drive. Eventually police followed the vehicle to the woman’s house and watched her slump out of the truck.
Admitting she had been drinking, the woman had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and a strong odour of liquor on her. Police informed her she was under arrest and she said OK, but when police asked her to get inside their vehicle she said she just wanted to go home.
Officers once again explained she was under arrest and the woman asked why. Eventually, police guided her to their vehicle and returned to the detachment where she was given two breath readings. The first was at .26 per cent blood alcohol concentration and the second was .24.
“You’re going to kill somebody if you drive in that condition,” said Judge Schmaltz. “If this day had gone very badly, you could have been here on a much worse charge.”