Fine, probation for man who drove drunk through yards

Drunk driving, marijuana cases resolved in Revelstoke court last week.

A Revelstoke man who crashed his car through several fences while driving drunk pleaded guilty in court last week.

Curtis E. McPherson was given a $1,500 fine, a one year driving prohibition and one year probation for the incident that took place Friday, Aug. 15, at around 10 p.m.

Crown prosecutor Angela Ross told the court that McPherson was found passed out at the wheel of his truck after he drove it through two yards on Humbert Street, damaging fences in the process.

Neighbours woke him up and RCMP and BC ambulance were called. When RCMP attended to McPherson, he was visibly drunk. He was arrested and taken to the detachment, where he gave two breath samples of more than 0.19 — almost 2.5 times the legal limit.

McPherson told the court he drank six strong beers at a friend’s house when he decided to head home earlier than planned.

“It was a screwed up decision I made because of the booze,” he said. “The drinking, it doesn’t help the decision making at all.”

Judge Mayland McKimm said the Crown was being “more than generous” with their sentence offer of only a fine and driving prohibition.

“If there had been someone on the sidewalk when you went careening across it, you’d be going to a federal penitentiary,” he told McPherson. “This is not rolling through a stop sign. This is a very serious incident.”

Still, he agreed with the Crown’s recommended sentence, but added a period of probation that includes mandatory counselling. “The purpose of the probation is entirely to help you,” McKimm said.

Medial marijuana license leads to discharge

A Kelowna man was given an absolute discharge when he was able to produce a doctor’s note saying he was eligible for medical marijuana.

The man was in court on charges of possession of marijuana after he was caught driving with more than 1.2 kilograms of pot on March 12.

He pleaded guilty to the charge in August and said at the time the marijuana was to treat chronic pain he experiences following an arm injury many years ago.

He did not have a medical license so judge Mayland McKimm gave him two months to come up with a diagnosis saying he was allowed to use marijuana for medical purposes.

In court last week he brought in a “medical marijuana eligible diagnosis” form from the Do No Harm Clinic in Kelowna. The clinic advertises itself on its website as “a medico-legal service that assesses medical records of  individuals interested in medical marijuana.”

As a result, McKimm awarded the man an absolute discharge, saying the crown would need to provide evidence the marijuana was for something other than medicinal use if they wanted a stronger punishment.

Federal prosecutor Nick Vlahos said he was seeking a fine but he said the man was consistent from his arrest onwards that the marijuana was for pain relief. Without any evidence indicating otherwise, McKimm sided with the man.

“I’m satisfied it’s not contrary to the public interest for (him) to receive a discharge,” said McKimm.

 

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