Case delayed pending impaired driving charge
A Sylvan Lake man acquitted of impaired driving causing death has been given a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to breaking conditions of his release while he was awaiting trial.
Preston Clifford Hanson, 25, was charged with breaching conditions of his release when the oilfield unit he was travelling in was pulled aside during a commercial vehicle checkstop near Whitecourt at 2 p.m. on March 21, 2012.
Peace officers called RCMP to investigate after noting that Hanson smelled of alcohol.
Readings taken by the Whitecourt RCMP determined that there was alcohol in his system, although it was at .047, well below the legal limit for impaired driving.
The national limit is .08. Alberta had not established the provincial limit of .05 at the time the charge was laid.
Hanson had been ordered to abstain from drinking alcohol as part of his release conditions while he was awaiting trial in connection with the single-vehicle collision that killed his roommated and best friend, Nathan Michael Medwid, 19, Dec. 5, 2006.
Crown prosecutor Tony Bell said in Red Deer provincial court on Tuesday that the proceedings relating to the breach had been set aside pending the outcome of Hanson’s impaired-driving trial, which ended with his acquittal on Feb. 21.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Monica Bast ruled that the Crown had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Hanson was driving when Medwid’s car left the road and rolled.
In provincial court on Tuesday, Judge Jim Hunter offered a conditional discharge for the breach, placing Hanson on probation for six months.
The charge will be dismissed if Hanson meets the terms of his probation. Those terms place him under the supervision of a probation officer, but do not require that he abstain from alcohol.