A suspected drunk driver accused of hitting and killing a young man on a motorcycle has agreed to give up his licence.
In provincial court in St. John’s Thursday morning, Ronald Thistle’s defence lawyer, Bob Simmonds, told the court his client would not be opposing the Crown’s application for the driving ban.
A police officer examines a motorcycle involved in a collision near the intersection of Kenmount Road and Polina Road on Aug. 16 in St. John’s. A man accused of driving drunk and killing the driver of this motorcycle has agreed to a driving ban.
— Telegram file photo
The last time the case was called, in September, prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre had indicated the Crown would apply to have Thistle’s release conditions include the ban.
Thistle, who lives in Kilbride, was arrested after an Aug. 16 motor vehicle collision in the capital city.
Thistle was reportedly driving a pickup when he pulled out of Polina Road onto Kenmount Road, causing an eastbound motorcycle to crash into the side of his truck.
The motorcycle driver, 27-year-old Nicholas Coates, was rushed to hospital, where he died of his injuries.
About a dozen of Coates’ family members and friends were in court Thursday.
Thistle has been charged with impaired driving causing death and having a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit causing death.
Under the law, when someone is charged with those type of offences, they can have their driving privileges back after 90 days but lose them again if convicted of the charges.
LeFeuvre wanted the 90-day period extended.
Simmonds said the defence is accepting the ban because they’re choosing to focus their efforts on fighting the charges.
“We’re consenting as a practical issue, not as an admission of guilt,” Simmonds said.
“The cost of contesting this would take away his ability to contest this case. The funds have to be used in the most appropriate fashion.
“Therefore, my client is willing to concede to this condition.”
Thistle was ordered to surrender his licence to the court. He is banned from drinking and was ordered not to drive anywhere in Canada.
The case is due back in court Dec. 5.
Thistle hasn’t appeared in court and won’t have to until the evidence is heard, since Simmonds is acting as his formal designate.