Court notes from the Aug. 1, 2012 Provincial Court session in Revelstoke.
A Lumby man was sentenced to two weeks in jail for driving drunk while on his way from Alberta to an alcohol treatment centre in the Okanagan.
Jesse Isaac Wightman was stopped at the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 23 North after he was observed swerving all over the road on Mar. 28, 2012 at around 5 p.m.
It didn’t take long for police to find him, and when they pulled him over, he swerved off the road into the ditch, Crown prosecutor Mariane Armstrong told the court at the Aug. 1 monthly sitting.
Wightman showed visible signs of impairment and gave breath samples of 0.22 and 0.23 – nearly three times the legal limit.
The court heard Wightman drank seven beers since leaving Okotoks, Alta., on his way to BCTeen Challenge, a faith-based residential program for youth 19 and older that are dealing with substance abuse problems.
Armstrong proposed a high fine and a one-year driving prohibition, citing the fact Wightman was undergoing treatment as a sign he was taking steps to cure his alcoholism.
Wightman’s lawyer Melissa Klages asked for the minimum sentence – a $1,000 fine and one year driving prohibition. “I think given the fact he is enrolled in such a lengthy and intensive program, the minimum is suitable,” she said.
Wightman then stood up and addressed the court. He thanked his father for forgiving him and giving him one more chance to turn his life around. He apologized for his actions and for endangering lives on the road.
Justice Mayland McKimm hesitated before handing down his sentence.
“This young man has a serious struggle with alcohol and I have nothing but compassion for people struggling with alcoholism,” he said.
However, while mulling over the circumstances, McKimm abruptly called for the morning break so he could have more time to make a decision.
When court resumed, McKimm blasted Wightman for his actions, saying he “endangered the public in such a horrific way.”
“In my view a fine is grossly disproportionate to the seriousness of the offence,” said McKimm.
He sentenced Wightman to 14 days in jail and a year-long driving prohibition.