Careless driving nets driver fine, suspension

Michael Seyer's has ended up with a year's suspension instead of a three-month disqualification and fine, the court decided.

If Michael Seyer’s vehicle hadn’t run out of gas, he may have ended up with a year’s suspension instead of a three-month disqualification and fine, the court decided.

Seyer appeared before Judge J. Mitchell on Thursday, Jan. 28 at Alberta Provincial Court in Stettler to answer to charges of operating a vehicle while disqualified, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, operation of an unregistered motor vehicle, driving without insurance and two counts of breach of probation.

The accused, who appeared by CCTV from Edmonton, pleaded guilty to the charges of driving while disqualified, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and driving without insurance. The Crown withdrew the other charges in light of the guilty plea.

The court heard that around 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 13, 2015, Seyer attended a rural residence near Stettler, asking for assistance in getting his vehicle out of the ditch. The homeowners drove him to his vehicle and helped him get the vehicle out, but noted that Seyer was showing signs of impairment.

After Seyer drove off, they decided to follow at a distance, and contacted police after noting excessive speed on the part of Seyer, the Crown alleged. The vehicle ran out of gas, however, and was abandoned on the roadside, and police found Seyer walking toward Stettler.

Seyer admitted to the facts except for the rate of speed, which he disputed.

When the Independent reported on the arrest in December, police explained that since Seyer was not found operating his vehicle by police, he could not be charged with impaired driving.

As a result of his guilty plea, Judge Mitchell sentenced Seyer to an additional 90 days prohibition on driving and the victims’ surcharge of $100. The fine for driving without insurance was absorbed by time served.

Doggie woes

An Alix woman is ruing the day her pit bull escaped the confines of her yard, after being given the minimum fine of $500.

The court heard that Josephine Husband’s nine-year-old pitbull escaped her property on Nov. 6, 2015, and got into an altercation with a border collie that was being walked by its owner. A second, smaller dog was in the walker’s arm and was not injured.

Husband took responsibility for her hound’s actions, though seemed dismayed that after working with the dog’s owner and offering to pay any veterinary bills, the matter still went to court.

“I probably shouldn’t be saying this,” Judge Mitchell said. “It is in my experience that in these cases, four out of every five dog attacks involve pit bulls…If it had been my dog, I wouldn’t have been so forgiving.”

In light of Husband’s guilty plea, a bylaw violation of letting her dog run loose was withdrawn, and she was given 10 months to pay the $500 fine, given her financial situation.

Husband wasn’t the only one in court to be called up on dog-related bylaw violations. Dean Fuller was fined $100 after the court heard that his dog broke out of his yard in Stettler. Unlike the Husband hound, Fuller’s dog didn’t cause any damage to people, animal or property, hence the relatively light fine.