Impaired driver gets both jail time and fine

An Alberta man received jail time and had to pay a $2,000 fine for resisting arrest on Highway 2.

An Alberta man received jail time and had to pay a $2,000 fine for resisting arrest on Highway 2.

Sean Finnerty was stopped by an off-duty Fish and Wildlife officer on Oct. 2 after witnessing his van being driven in an erratic manner.

The officer called the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit for help and pulled the van over. Crown prosecutor Steve Degen said the officer stated he saw Finnerty had bloodshot eyes and had slurred speech. Degen told the court that Finnerty then left his van and wouldn’t listen to the officer.

It was at this point an Alberta Sheriff assisted and the two officers pinned Finnerty on his stomach. At one point, Finnerty attempted to headbutt one of the officers and also tried to kick the rear window of the cruiser.

Finnerty was eventually taken to the Ponoka detachment where he provided a blood alcohol sample of .18 when he subsequently became aggressive with officers in his cell.

Degen also referred to a prior record that showed eight driving offenses and two provincial offenses (no licence and no insurance) as well as 12 months of jail for evading police.

“That makes all of this incredibly aggravating, as well as his attitude,” said Degen.

Defense counsel Norm Clair said Finnerty is 37-years-old and has been in custody for some weeks. When asked if he had anything to offer, Finnerty read from a letter he had written.

“I’m sorry for coming back and wasting people’s time,” Finnerty said.

He added that he had recently taken on sandblasting as a profession and had taken responsibility for his actions. Finnerty said he has attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and was working through some personal trials during the course of events that led to his arrest.

“I’m just looking for a solution. I know what I did. I apologize for what I did,” said Finnerty.

Judge James Glass suggested the aggravating circumstances of the incident must be considered. “You’re lucky Mr. Finnerty that no one was injured while you were driving,” said Glass.

He sentenced Finnerty to 60 days in jail for being impaired and 30 days for obstructing the peace officer. He received a $2,000 fine. Finnerty has 38 days left on his term having already spent time in detention.