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'Lesser evil' driving infraction earns fines, lengthy licence suspension

A driver caught behind the wheel twice while prohibited from driving will face more than a thousand dollars in fines and another year of prohibited driving after being sentenced in Penticton court today.
December 21, 2015 - 4:30 PM

PENTICTON - A man who called his choice to drive while his license was suspended a “lesser of two evils” will spend at least another year without his licence following a courtroom appearance in Penticton.

Steven Gary Mason faced Judge Gale Sinclair in Penticton court on today, Dec. 21, on two counts of driving while prohibited.

Crown Prosecutor Kurt Froehlich told court Mason was stopped by police on April 17, 2015 in Rock Creek after a police officer ran the licence plate of the vehicle he was driving. The police officer noted Mason was driving while prohibited, arrested him and impounded the vehicle. Mason was issued an indefinite prohibition.

On July 6, 2015, Mason was flagged as a prohibited driver after an RCMP officer performed a licence plate check on the vehicle he was driving on Skaha Lake Road in Penticton. He was released on a notice to appear and his vehicle was impounded.

Froehlich asked for a $500 fine on Mason’s first infraction and one-year driving prohibition, in addition to a $750 fine and seven days’ intermittent prison sentence for the Penticton count.

“What’s that all about?” Judge Sinclair asked Mason, who explained on both occasions he took the wheel rather than let his impaired girlfriend drive the vehicle.

“My girlfriend was under the influence, and I thought my driving would be the lesser of two evils,” said Mason, who added he felt “really bad about doing it.”

“It may have been the lesser of two evils, but then you end up here,” replied Judge Sinclair, who sentenced Mason to a $500 fine for the Rock Creek infraction and $750 for the Penticton incident. The judge declined to sentence Mason to jail time but he will lose his license for a minimum of one year.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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