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Drunk driver receives jail time, driving suspension

Jail time and the long-term loss of driving privileges await a young Red Deer man who pleaded guilty on Friday to his second and third impaired driving offences.

Kevin James Connolly, 24, has been in custody since Feb. 20, when he was arrested for impaired driving.

Represented by defence counsel Greg Gordon, Connolly was already awaiting process on charges laid in May and November 2013 when he appeared in Red Deer provincial court on Friday to enter his pleas before Judge Bert Skinner.

Crown Prosecutor Murray McPherson said Connolly was charged with dangerous driving after speeding away from a police officer who pulled him over in Red Deer on May 12, 2103.

He had passengers in the vehicle. The police officer “wisely chose not to follow” him, said McPherson.

Connolly’s vehicle was travelling at least 120 km/h when he lost control and left the road near the Lions Campground, where a number of people were inside their units, he said. The passengers had already left the vehicle and it’s fortunate that no one was hurt in the crash, said McPherson.

Police arrested Connolly again on Nov. 21 for impaired driving and he was still awaiting process on those charges when he was arrested on Feb. 20. Police also found a small bag of marijuana during the Feb. 20 arrest, said McPherson.

In court on Friday, Connolly pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving, two counts of impaired driving, one count of possession of a narcotic and numerous counts of breaching release conditions.

After taking Connolly’s past record into account, reviewing a pre-sentence report and hearing submissions from McPherson and Gordon, Skinner sentenced him to 240 days in jail, minus credit of 99 days for the 65 days he was held in remand, and followed by 12 months on probation.

He also suspended the man’s licence for four years, including one year for dangerous driving and three years for impaired driving.

“That will assist you with regards to protection of the public,” said Skinner.

“You are a very young man. I hope the probation order will assist you with regard to your alcoholism and with regard to any psychological issues you may have.”

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