Provincial circuit court took place in Port aux Basques on Wednesday, Nov. 18 through to Friday, Nov. 20 with Judge Lynn Cole presiding. Social distancing measures were still in effect, with some parties appearing via telephone conference.
Wallace Charles Lawrence of Port aux Basques plead guilty to one count of Operation of a conveyance while impaired .08 or over (CCC 2018 [320.14-1-b]).
Lawrence admitted to operating an ATV on the TransCanada Highway without wearing a helmet and while carrying a drink cup in one hand when he was spotted by RCMP. The RCMP officer, Constable White, observed Lawrence increase speed and turn into MacDougalls Road and into his driveway. Constable White followed and gave chase after Lawrence left the ATV and started to run away.
Lawrence, who has no prior criminal record, cited a great deal of stress as a factor. He also told the court that he has lost someone to drunk driving in the past and showed remorse during his apology.
“I don’t think I need to give you a lecture,” said Judge Cole, before encouraging him to seek counselling. “I think you got the message. However, as you know the court has a lot of other people that we have to be concerned about. We have to send a message to them.”
Cole then imposed the sentence sought by the Crown, imposing a one year driving ban, a $1,200 fine and a $360 victim surcharge, which Lawrence has one year to pay.