Collision not due to momentary lapse but was part of ongoing pattern of dangerous driving

Criminal Law - Sentencing by Offence - Offences Against the Person and Reputation

While intoxicated by drugs and alcohol she had just consumed, accused operated vehicle that crossed into oncoming lane and collided with another vehicle, instantly killing elderly driver. At time of collision, accused was on bail in relation to outstanding charges of impaired driving, possession of controlled substances, and breach of recognizance, and was prohibited from operating motor vehicle. Police found open alcohol, various drugs, and hypodermic needles in accused’s vehicle and on her person. Accused was 28 years old and had criminal record for three counts of impaired driving, driving without licence, failing to attend court, possession of controlled substance, two counts of failing to stop at scene of accident, breach of recognizance, and several counts of possession for purpose of trafficking. Accused pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death, breach of recognizance, and possession of cocaine. Accused sentenced to six and one-half years’ imprisonment for impaired driving causing death. Collision was not due to momentary lapse but was part of ongoing pattern of dangerous driving. Accused’s expression of remorse was sincere and she appeared to be motivated to seek treatment and address her addiction issues. Need for denunciation and deterrence had to be balanced with objective of rehabilitation, which was necessary to protect public. Five-year driving prohibition was imposed.

R. v. Brown (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 11249, 2019 ONSC 4242, P.A. Schreck J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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