Drinking and sitting in driver’s seat leads to hefty fine for Stettler man

A Stettler man was handed a stiff sentence in Stettler Provincial Court on Nov. 25 for sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle intoxicated although he was not driving or moving the vehicle.

Thomas James Rowland, 29, was fined $1,400 for care and control of a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content exceeding .08 milligrams.

Initially reported by a civilian in the early hours of March 18, he was intoxicated with a reading of 220 milligrams.

“That’s three times the legal limit, “said Judge James Hunter.

“That’s frightening.”

He noted that any reading over 160 is considered an “aggravating” level.

Rowland was further suspended from driving for one year and fined $150 for failing to attend court.

Additionally, Rowland was fined a total of $120 for two counts of allowing dogs to run at large in Clive against the municipal bylaw.

Matthew Wayne White, 29, of Calgary was fined $1,500 for assault and $200 for mischief causing damage to property after an incident as an intoxicated guest at Plains Motor Inn on Aug. 21 when he punched an employee and broke a window.

“It’s time to grow up,” Judge Hunter said after reading White’s criminal record.

“You certainly have a record of assaultive behavior.”

“If this incident had been more serious, you would have faced incarceration,” warned Judge Hunter.

White paid restitution of $106.01 as ordered for the damage to the window.

While the Crown Counsel said he is “a hot head when he’s intoxicated”, White tried to defend his actions to assault the employee.

“He was trying to fight with me,” said White.

Mark Steven Sawatzky, 47, of Stettler was fined $200 for causing a disturbance in Stettler on Sept. 13 by the Royal Hotel where he was intoxicated with alcohol and medication that further impeded his control.