Judge rebukes mandatory minimum sentence in drunk driving case

Judge Mayland McKimm tries handing out short jail sentence instead of fines in drunk driving case, but prevented by law.

He tried to avoid it, but Judge Mayland Mckimm handed Susan Hawkings $1,500 in fines after she plead guilty to driving while prohibited and driving over the legal blood-alcohol limit in Revelstoke court last Wednesday.

McKimm wanted to give out a one-day jail sentence to Hawkings, who said she lacked consistent employment and was still trying to raise money for a lawyer when she withdrew her not-guilty plea and admitted her wrong doing.

“Minimum penalties in cases like yours are particularly harsh,” McKimm said in sentencing, noting that for someone making good money, the fine was easily payable, but for Hawkings it was not.

However, the law meant he had to issue the fines,

Hawkings plead guilty after she was caught driving a stolen vehicle drunk on Dec. 13, 2011. She delivered breath samples of 0.17 and 0.18 – more than double the legal blood-alcohol limit.

She was handed $1,500 in fines, 12 months probation, a one year driving prohibition, and ordered to attend counselling.