A man from the Alexander First Nation will spend the next 118 days in jail for an impaired driving charge that dates back two years.
Craig Vernon Paul, 37, was sentenced for driving with a blood alcohol level over .08, driving with no insurance and two counts of failing to attend court.
He entered a guilty plea to the two driving-related charges Nov. 13, 2008. He entered guilty pleas to the two other charges Friday in Westlock Provincial Court, after having failed to attend two sentencing hearings.
Crown prosecutor Alicia Wendel said she was seeking a sentence of four months in prison for the blood alcohol charge and 30 days each on the two failures to attend court.
Paul has a lengthy criminal record that includes several convictions for both those types of charge, and in this case was found to have a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.
“Given all that is before me, including the aggravating nature of the blood alcohol reading the four months the crown is seeking – less time served – is not unreasonable,” Judge Larry Nemirsky said.
He gave Paul credit for having completed a residential treatment program, and sentenced him to 90 days on that charge. After being given two for one credit for the 16 days he spent in pre-sentence custody, Paul will serve 58 days on the blood alcohol charge.
Nemirsky also sentenced Paul to 30 days consecutive on each of the two failing to appear charges, making his total prison sentence 118 days. Paul was also ordered to pay a $2,875 fine for driving with no insurance.
Paul also lost his license for two years when he initially entered his guilty plea.
On June 7, 2008, at about 10:30 p.m., Westlock RCMP got a complaint of an erratic driver on Highway 44 near Pickardville. While the RCMP were en route, four more civilians made complaints about the driver, Wendel said.
Police found the vehicle driving very slowly on the shoulder of the highway near Pickardville, and noted it had no licence plate.
The officer noted Paul was showing signs of intoxication, and a breath sample later revealed a blood alcohol level of 0.21, more than double the legal limit.
Paul said he hoped to put this part of his life behind him, having successfully completed treatment,
“I just want to get it over with. I don’t want this to follow me,” he said. “I don’t want to drink no more. I’m finished.”