Judge requests report before passing sentence for impaired

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PICTOU – A Pictou County man who pleaded guilty to impaired driving could be looking at jail time.

George Robert MacLane, 42, entered the plea in Pictou Provincial Court Tuesday in connection with his arrest on March 21 on Stellarton Road.

Crown attorney Bill Gorman told the court that a member of the New Glasgow Regional Police Service was driving on Stellarton Road around 5 p.m. when he spotted a half-ton truck crossing the centre line.

The officer stopped the driver of the truck, who was identified as MacLane, and noted that he was slurring his words and had strong odour of alcohol on his breath.

When MacLane got of the vehicle, he was unsteady on his feet and had to lean on the hood in order to stand upright. Police obtained breath samples from MacLane that registered at 230 mg per 100 ml of blood, which is almost triple the legal limit.

Gorman pointed out that MacLane had a dated impaired driving conviction from 1994 so the Crown was not seeking jail time, but instead felt an elevated fine, 18-month driving prohibiton and probation would be just punishment.

Defence lawyer Craig Clarke agreed saying his client was aware when he entered the guilty plea that he knew he could be facing probation. He also pointed out that his client stated that he was crossing the centre at the time to avoid the potholes and poor road conditions on Stellarton Road.

He added, his client has hardworking and not having his licence for an extended period of time will cause him financial hardship because he will have to hire someone to transport him to work.

Judge Del Atwood took the sentence recommendations into consideration, but said he wanted more information on MacLane before he made a decision.

He ordered a pre-sentence report be done because in his opinion “a period of custody” is an option.

Atwood said the court must not look at just the outcome of the incident, but the risk to public safety imposed by MacLane’s decision to drive while impaired along a busy stretch of Pictou County road.

Sentencing will take place June 19. 

Organizations: New Glasgow Regional Police Service

Geographic location: Stellarton Road, Pictou County

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