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Impaired driver placed community of Trout River in danger: Judge

Provincial court
Provincial court

Shane Snook will serve 90 days in jail on an intermittent basis

CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

According to provincial court Judge Wayne Gorman the most dangerous thing in the small town of Trout River on May 12 was Shane Snook. 

On that day, Snook, 26, drove his vehicle in the town while drinking beer. He crashed it into a parked vehicle causing injury to one of his passengers. 

On Tuesday, Aug. 20, Gorman sentenced Snook to 90 days in jail, to be served on an intermittent basis, for impaired driving causing bodily harm and a breach of probation.

The probation order had only been put in place less than two weeks before the accident after Snook was convicted of resisting a peace officer. He was given a suspended sentence for that charge and placed on probation for six-months.

Evidence presented in court showed Snook and his two passengers were all drinking in the vehicle. He was driving fast and lost control. One of his passengers fractured his wrist as a result of the crash.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police found a considerable amount of beer inside Snook’s vehicle.

When they spoke with him at the hospital they noticed a smell of alcohol coming from him. His speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot.

His blood alcohol content was measured at 100 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

The Crown asked for a fine of $1,500 and a one-year driving prohibition for the impaired driving causing bodily harm charge and 30 days in jail for the breach of probation. 

In his written decision, Gorman said that submission failed to reflect the seriousness of Snook’s actions or the impact of the sentencing precedents he outlined.

And, he noted, Snook ignored his probation order.

However, Snook entered guilty pleas to the charges and only has that one prior conviction.

While not presently working, Gorman said Snook has employment prospects.

The victim was also drinking and knew that Snook had been drinking while driving, but Gorman said that was not a mitigating factor in sentencing. 

He said the primary sentencing principles to be applied in the case are protection of the public thorough emphasizing denunciation and deterrence.

Snook had sought a conditional sentence, but Gorman said that would be contrary to those principles. 

“It would fail to hold Mr. Snook accountable for his actions. It would fail to reflect his high degree of moral culpability,” he said.

Gorman said Snook committed an offence that caused bodily harm to one person and placed the general community in danger. 

He said a sentence of three months for the impaired driving charge and one month for the breach, for a total of four months was appropriate, but reduced it to 90 days in order to assist Snook in maintaining his employment.

In addition, Snook was placed on probation for a period of 12 months and is prohibited from driving for 18 months.

Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

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