PENTICTON - A Keremeos man unable to keep off the road in spite of an indefinite driving prohibition will pay the price with jail time.
Gordon Dean Dupuis, 53, was sentenced to a 66-day intermittent jail sentence on four counts of driving while prohibited in Penticton court Monday, Nov. 7.
Crown Prosecutor Ann Lerechs told court Dupuis was served with a notice of driving prohibition on July 23, 2015 in Surrey, B.C.
He was stopped by police in Osoyoos July 31 after a police automatic license plate reader flagged his vehicle as one associated with a prohibited driver. He was arrested and later released.
On Oct. 27, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. police spotted a Dodge Dakota pickup leaving an address in Oliver known to be home to drug and property crime offenders. Police followed the vehicle, notifying Penticton police of its whereabouts. The vehicle, driven by Dupuis, was intercepted at a Kaleden address. He admitted to being a prohibited driver, was arrested and later released.
On Nov. 11, 2015, police spotted the same Dodge pickup on Upper Bench Road in Keremeos, driving with large cab mounted spot lights on.
Once again, police stopped the vehicle to find Dupuis behind the wheel. He was arrested and again released on a promise to appear.
On June 6, 2016, at around 3 p.m., police caught Dupuis behind the wheel of the same pickup truck after he was detected speeding on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland.
Lerechs noted Dupuis’ past driving record included 17 convictions, including four for driving without insurance and eight, 24 hour roadside prohibitions.
She asked Judge Meg Shaw for a jail term of between 60 and 90 days and a two year driving prohibition, calling the four offences in a one year period and example of "disregard for the offences.”
Defence lawyer James Pennington said his client had gone to Fort MacMurray earlier this year to try and find work, but a 2009 workplace accident that left him with two shattered heels made him unable to continue working in his former professions as truck driver and sometime roofer.
He had returned to Keremeos upon learning a woman in which he was involved in a 22-year relationship with had been diagnosed with cancer. She died in early August. Following the woman’s death, Pennington noted his client lost another good friend later the same month after the man died of a fentanyl overdose.
Pennington also noted Dupuis’ mother, father and sister were also dealing with some severe health issues, adding his client had been living on a disability cheque of $600 per month and was having difficulties paying $1,000 in fines levied on him from previous driving charges filed in 2010.
He asked the judge for a 45 to 60 day intermittent jail term.
Judge Shaw noted Dupuis’ driving record, calling it “deplorable.” She also considered his three 2015 offences, including two that were less than a month apart.
Dupuis, who was in custody after turning himself in on Sunday, Nov. 6, was given 66 days intermittent jail time. With time served he has 63 days remaining. He was also given a two year driving prohibition.
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