Revelstoke man gets big fine, lengthy suspension after driving truck drunk

A Revelstoke man received a fine and drivers license suspension after pleading guilty to driving a semi-trailer drunk. The penalty was handed down in Revelstoke court last Wednesday, May 4.

A Revelstoke man received a fine and drivers license suspension after pleading guilty to driving a semi-trailer drunk. The penalty was handed down in Revelstoke court last Wednesday, May 4.

Mark Schnurr, 46, pleaded guilty to care or control of a vehicle while impaired in an incident dating back to July 5, 2009, near Langley, B.C.

That day, RCMP was called out due to a report of a semi with two trailers swerving on the road. When the RCMP arrived, the officer found the semi parked at the side of the road, Crown prosecutor Greg Koturbash told Revelstoke Court.

The officer noticed signs of impairment on Schnurr and when Schnurr got out of the vehicle he was barefoot and staggering and swaying.

After failing the road side test, Schnurr was brought back to the RCMP detachment where he blew a reading of 0.18 on his first breath sample, Koturbash said.

When it came time to providing a second breath sample, Schnurr refused. According to Koturbash, he told the officer, “I am not stupid. I won’t be providing a sample.”

Koturbash said Schnurr had no prior criminal or motor vehicle act record. He asked for a $1,250 fine and 12 month driving prohibition.

Schnurr’s lawyer Chris Johnston told the court the circumstances were correct but that Schnurr had satisfied the requirements of the responsible driver program since the arrest. He said Schnurr got back his license in the intervening time and was driving for a Revelstoke company until he was recently laid off.

However, Judge Wilf Klinger wasn’t in a sympathetic a mood.

“It’s frightening enough [for] drivers to meet oncoming passenger vehicles that are driving erratically or swerving,” he said. “It’s quite another to meet a semi.”

With that, he handed Schnurr a $1,750 fine and 18 month driving prohibition –  a sentence that was tougher than the one recommended by the Crown attorney.