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Penticton woman pleads guilty to impaired charge, driving while disqualified

A Penticton woman lost her driving privileges for two years in Penticton court today, after being charged with care and control of a motor vehicle while over .08, while on her way home from a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.
September 14, 2015 - 4:35 PM

PENTICTON - A Penticton woman is not to get behind the wheel for two years following a plea of guilty to a charge of impaired driving and driving while disqualified in Penticton court this morning, Sept. 14.

Crown Prosecutor Kurt Froelich told court Leisha Blais was driving home from a Narcotics Anonymous meeting at a local church when she was stopped at a highly visible roadside check on Highway 97 near Kaleden on April 10, 2015.

The officer detected a strong odour of alcohol on Blais’ breath and conducted a field sobriety test on Blais, which she failed. He then asked for a roadside breath sample, which revealed a blood alcohol level of .150 to .160.

Blais was taken to the RCMP detachment, where it was discovered she was disqualified from driving following an Alberta conviction. She was released on a promise to appear, her vehicle impounded for 24 hours.

Defense lawyer Norman Yates told court Blais, 45, was a recent victim of the oil sands recession and wished to get back to camp work as soon as possible. She apologized for her actions and the choices she made the night she was arrested, and took full responsibility. Yates also noted that Blais was working to build better support networks for herself, and had two daughters she was close to.

Judge Gregory Koturbash said it was sad for this to have happened while coming back from a meeting on abstention, noting Blais has a serious alcohol problem that posed a risk to people on the road.

“It’s a difficult disease to kick forever. Sometimes there are lapses along the way,” he said, noting her guilty pleas, insight into her actions and good family support.

Koturbash agreed to a fine of $1,500 for operating a vehicle over .08 and a $500 fine for driving while disqualified, allowing one year to pay.

Blais was also subject to a 24-month driving suspension and probation. She will not be allowed to enter liquor stores and must take any treatment programs recommended, including residential treatment.

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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