Dangerous driving trending at provincial court

Ponoka provincial court saw many hazardous drivers come through its doors, July 25, and a range of penalties were imposed

Ponoka provincial court saw many hazardous drivers come through its doors, July 25, and a range of penalties were imposed for several misdemeanors.

Intoxicated man utters threats

Farron Rowan, a 26-year-old Samson Band member, was sentenced to 90 days in a correctional facility, minus the 14 he has already been in for. He must also submit DNA samples for forensic identification.

Rowan was heavily intoxicated and trying to get to Maskwacis but did not know where he was on July 12, at approximately 1:15 a.m., when he flagged down a Ponoka sheriff south of town near the railroad tracks.

The sheriff consented to give Rowan a ride but inquired his name for safety reasons. He provided two false names.

When another officer arrived on the scene, Rowan became angry, threw a cell phone at them and reached behind him as if grabbing a firearm, according to the account of the incident read out in the court. He’s alleged to also have threatened the two officers with the use of a firearm.

Once arrested, Rowan gave more fake names before his real identity was discovered.

Counsel said Rowan does not remember any of the facts presented due to his high level of intoxication but does not dispute them.

It was stated in court that Rowan has struggled with alcohol, violence and education because of a troubled upbringing. He finished high school in jail after dropping out in his yearly teens. Rowan has a common law wife and a growing family.

Counsel told the court he is willing to serve his time, put his criminal past behind him and go to college.

“I just want to get on with my life,” Rowan told the court via CCTV.

His sentence will be served consecutively to other charges laid, as he was also wanted on an Edmonton warrant and Canada-wide warrant on probation violation.

Motorcyclist punished for unsafe driving

Motorcyclist Dean Johnston was fined $800 fine plus a victim surcharge penalty after driving in an unsafe manner and clipping another vehicle’s passenger mirror.

On June 25, around 2 a.m., a traffic stop along Highway 53 was disrupted by Johnston as he passed it on the ditch side of the road, where he clipped the mirror.

It was determined that Johnston decided to pass the vehicles in that way because they were blocking the lane due to the narrow shoulders of the road.

Counsel said Johnston did not realize he had clipped the mirror until the charges were laid.

Intoxicated driver caught

Michael Bull, 31, was fined $2,000, plus a victim surcharge at the Ponoka provincial court for drunken driving.

He was arrested on June 23 at 3 a.m., when police witnessed the white Chevy truck proceeding in what they felt was a manner of an intoxicated driver, and the driver, Bull, provided two breath samples, both at .23, almost three times the legal limit.

In a common law relationship with children, Bull just finished his firefighting training and is the only breadwinner of the family.

Bull is also on a one-year driving probation.

Woman backed into building

Cellestine Potts, 25, was fined  $1,400 plus a victim surcharge and handed a one-year driving probation.

On June 27, 2:15 a.m., Potts backed her vehicle into a business after ingesting two beers. She drove off the scene and police tracked her vehicle into a trailer park, where she admitted to drinking.

Potts lives on the Louis Bull reserve with her two children as a single parent.

High speeder caught

Michael Wagonsveld has also been handed a one-year driving probation, a $1,300 fine plus a victim surcharge for speeding and driving intoxicated.

On June 17, at approximately 11 p.m., a marked police car was performing speed detection along Highway 2. A motor vehicle driving north was caught traveling at 130km/h.

Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer could smell alcohol and Michael Wagonsveld was arrested.

Intoxicated, erratic driver

Banff resident Markus Wespi, a husband and father of two, is being ordered to pay a $2,000 fine plus a victim surcharge and is on a one-year driving probation. He must also report to a probation officer.

He was pulled over on June 14, when the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit received the call of an erratic driver along Highway 2, reportedly driving between 80 and 100 km/h. Police detected the smell of alcohol and accompanying physical impairment. Wespi provided breath samples of .60 and .70.

Wespi immediately admitted to needing help for a problem with alcohol.

“I feel terribly embarrassed and sorry for what I’ve done,” said Wespi.