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Sprinter Donovan Bailey prohibited from driving after guilty plea

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People who find themselves facing drinking and driving charges come from all walks of life. Under Canadian law, drivers are prohibited from having a blood-alcohol level that exceeds 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, and depending on an individual’s body weight and metabolism, not much alcohol is required to exceed that limit.

Consider the case of Olympic champion Donovan Bailey. The sprinter recently pleaded guilty to driving over 80 in connection with a traffic incident in March 2012. In court, it was explained to the Crown that Bailey had attended a wine tasting event, and according to an agreed statement of facts, an officer stopped behind Bailey’s parked vehicle because it “partially encroached on a lane of traffic.”

While conversing with the officer, Bailey said that he had consumed some wine, and the officer administered a breath test at the scene. The test indicated that Bailey’s blood-alcohol level was over the legal limit for drivers.

Because of charity obligations in Europe, Bailey was unable to appear in court in August, when his lawyer pleaded guilty on the sprinter’s behalf. The lawyer read a statement from Bailey, who said that he hoped his ordeal would serve to warn others who attend wine tasting events and consume small amounts of wine over the course of an evening.

Individuals with prior driving offences can face increased penalties for a drinking and driving conviction, and that was the case for Bailey. Rather than the basic fine of $1,000, Bailey’s fine was raised to $1,500. He is also prohibited from driving for a year.

Being convicted of drinking and driving can result not only in a fine, a driving prohibition and potential jail time; those convicted may also encounter employment problems, higher insurance premiums and treatment obligations. If you have been charged with an over 80 offence, then the surest way to protect your rights is to seek help from an experienced defence lawyer.

Source: Toronto Sun, “Donovan Bailey rapped for drunk driving,” Sam Pazzano, Aug. 27, 2014

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