Update: Jack Tobin warns against drunk driving

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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Jack Tobin, son of former Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin, and his mother, Jodean, leave court in Ottawa today. ‹ Photo by Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press

A sombre Jack Tobin warned others today about the “nightmare” of drunk driving as he apologized again to the family of a close friend he accidentally killed.

“I truly wish I had been the only victim of my actions that night and not Alex,” the son of former Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin told his sentencing hearing.

“If there’s any good to come from this very, very dark cloud, I hope that it will be this message to others: the consequences of drinking and driving are deadly, they are real, they are enduring — a nightmare from which you never wake up.”

Tobin pleaded guilty in May to impaired driving causing death after Alex Zolpis was pinned under a pickup truck during parking-lot shenanigans on Christmas Eve.

Tobin addressed Zolpis’s family by name, saying “how truly sorry and utterly ashamed I am for the unforgivable mistakes I made.”

He is to be sentenced Aug. 31.

Prosecutors are seeking a five-year prison sentence and a 10-year driving ban while the defense has suggested a sentence of between 18 and 30 months.

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Janet Bradshaw
    August 06, 2011 - 20:36

    As one who has had the incredible luck to have survived a head on collision with a drunk driver - a drunk driver who had 3 previous drunk driving charges (the most recent a mere 4 months before he caused my accident), with a blood alcohol level 4Xs the legal limit and who was driving without a license or insurance - I have little sympathy for Jack Tobin. Yes, he will have to live with the death of his best friend but that best friend made the fateful decision to go with him. Thank God that Jack Tobin did not kill someone who DIDN'T make that choice. Anytime a person who is drunk get behind the wheel of a car & drives they lose the right to my sympathy. Drinking and driving is against the law and the punishments for the offenders do not even come close to the life-long or potentially life ending consequences of their victims!

  • cynthia
    August 06, 2011 - 01:31

    I'm sure that over the years this young man has been told over and over again about the horrendous consquences of driving while drunk.......why does it take such a tragedy for the message to sink in?

  • Stephanie
    August 05, 2011 - 22:24

    I totally Agree With " No Win Win"

  • David
    August 05, 2011 - 21:36

    If this young man was being genuine or serious, he wouldn't have the driving record he does. "The reality is" (hmm...that sounds eerily familiar) that he kept pushing it till he pushed too far, and that's too bad,

    • Sarah
      August 06, 2011 - 23:08

      I feel empathy for both families. As for Jack Tobin he has to accept responsibility for his actions that lead to the death of his "Best Friend"! If that means living with the nightmare for the rest of his life....than so be it! He should have to pay the time for doing the crime. I was astonished to read about Jack's driving history...this young man is totally "out of control" it is really sad it took the death of his BF to finally admit drinking and driving is DEADLY!!! The fact that he is a Tobin should have no relevance in his sentencing! An answer to a question someone asked earlier "what is wrong with our justice system?" There is no justice system in Canada..."IT is a LEGAL system'!!!

  • no win win
    August 05, 2011 - 13:24

    This is a no win win situion here. All 7 people were drinking that night and they ALL got in that car and made some terriale choices that night. Its just sad to see a young man lose his life because of sillyness stuff we are suppose to grow out of. Its also sad to see another fine young man, the guilt he is going to forever live with. Knowing he killed his BEST FRIEND! It truely is a no win win situion. My deepest and saddest regarts to both families

  • MallRat
    August 05, 2011 - 13:21

    Level Complete; Its called Case Law aka Tort Law aka Precedcent. Look it up and if ya still don't like it figure it out or leave. I don't particularly like it either but I have chosen to accept our system and Stay. It's a better system than our Southern neighbors.

  • Level Complete
    August 05, 2011 - 12:54

    5 years for killing someone! Is there no such thing as justice any more?

    • Danglewood
      August 05, 2011 - 13:27

      First and foremost I want to say sorry to the family who lost a loving Son, brother and Fience! I believe Jack Tobin should have some sort of punishment, but how stiff of a punishment that is to be determined. I do not condone drinking and driving nor do I believe Jack was the only drunk person driving that night. But unfortunately the other gentleman has died. That a lone is a hudge punishment. Still I think people should remember Jack was not the only one doing wronge on that Christmas Eve! He simply and sadly is the one left behind to bare the cross. I bet there is no doubt in hs mind that if he could change places he would. To the Tobin family I as well wish you all the best for the months to come, but I think you are lucky that this is happening to your son now before his downward spiral gets much worst. Jack can still turn his life around and live a fulfilled life after prison. There are no winners in these types of cases especially when it involves close friends. Peace to all!