DUI? Time to lose your licence

By David F. Rooney

A local man and a driver from Lethbridge each lost their licences in separate impaired-driving cases in Provincial Court this week.

Frank Hodgson pled guilty before Judge Douglas Betton Tuesday to an impaired driving charge laid July 4 after he was stopped shortly after 2 a.m. near the Out of Bounds Night Club.

Crown Prosecutor Greg Koturbash said information provided by RCMP Const. David Gale showed that Hodgson was polite and cooperative when he was stopped for a sobriety check. Hodgson, a tow truck driver, admitted his guilt and Judge Betton fined him $1,000 but in view of the circumstances waived the 15 per cent Victim Surcharge which is usually tacked onto fines. He gave Hudgson until April 30 to the fine. The judge did, of course, suspend his licence for a year.

Judge Betton was little harsher with Ernest Burger of Lethbridge, fining him $1,250 plus the Victim Surcharge when he pled guilt to drunk driving on the Trans-Canada Highway on July 2.

Koturbash said Burger was arrested after Sicamous RCMP advised the Revelstoke Highway Patrol to be on the lookout for a vehicle thwat swerving from lane to lane at speeds of between 130 and 140 kilometres an hour. When stopped Burger visibly staggered and stumbled.

A 39-year-old Williams Moving and Storage employee, Burger was given until March 26 to pay. He, too, lost his licence for a year.