First-time drunk driver with four times legal alcohol limit jailed in Winnipeg

The Canadian Press
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WINNIPEG — A 29-year-old Winnipeg man who drove home from his cottage while he had a blood alcohol level more than four times the legal limit is going to jail.

A judge has sentenced Jesse Friesen to two weeks to be served on weekends.

Jail for a first-time drunk driver is relatively rare, but the judge said he wanted to send a message.

Friesen is banned from driving for 15 months and also faces two years of probation during which time he’s been ordered not to drink.

The Crown and defence had both suggested a fine and a one-year driving ban, but provincial court Judge Ray Wyant said he was taking off the gloves.

Friesen didn’t hurt anyone or damage property when he hit a ditch, but Wyant said anyone driving a car while drunk may as well be holding a loaded gun.

Friesen, who pleaded guilty earlier this week, had a blood alcohol level of .33, an amount the judge pointed out would leave most people unconscious or near death from alcohol poisoning.

Full and empty beer cans were found in the front seat of the car.

Geographic location: Winnipeg

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  • David
    July 12, 2012 - 08:29

    DUI here is just part of our lifestyle. The courts here now consider it with the same 'socio-sensitivities' as they do the young glue-sniffers of Labrador. Which is exactly why it will get worse instead of better, people will continue to die, selfish idiots will continue to use up our bankrupt health care system's remaioning resources. DUI isn't a crime here....just a right of passage.

  • Don
    July 12, 2012 - 07:43

    Good for you Judge. Just wish our Judge's had the guts to do the same.

  • Eli
    July 11, 2012 - 14:37

    If it was in Newfoundland the prosecution would ask for 5 years and his lawyer would figure a conditional sentence. At least this judge put the sucker in jail. Now if we could borrow him for 6 months in Newfoundland we could teach the locals some of life's realities. Keeping in mind both sides of the courtroom are mostly political appoinees. Ask Jerome Kennedy, our new Saviour of Everything".

    • David
      July 12, 2012 - 08:20

      I doubt it. They would not have even considered jail time here, because a long list of precedent cases here would never support that. In a place where so many peole are on their 4th or 5th or 10th DUIs, his "first time" circumstance would far outweigh the "4 times over the limit" issue, and he'd be given a one-year license suspension (which he would ignore), a big fine (which he would not pay), and he'd go out that night for a celebratory few beers with his buddies ---- and he wouldn't be takin' no stinkin' taxi back home, neither!

  • Newfiegrl
    July 11, 2012 - 14:18

    FINALLY! PLEASE let it set the new precedent. Zero tolerance!

  • Bob's Your Uncle
    July 11, 2012 - 14:01

    Only 2 weeks jail for a first time offender, what message is our judicial system sending out to the mass population of drunks on our roads? It's ok, we give you 2 weeks of rest to dry out and then you can go out and kill someone the next time you get behind the wheel polluted. This is being tough!! There is no excuse for driving drunk, none whatsoever!!! What a joke? Enough said.