Parole hearing back on for accused in drunk driving case

A parole hearing for a Lacombe woman convicted of drunk driving in a crash that killed two Red Deer teenagers is back on. About three weeks after cancelling her scheduled parole hearing, April Gail Beauclair, 33, has scheduled a new parole hearing. She is seeking unescorted temporary absences from jail.

A parole hearing for a Lacombe woman convicted of drunk driving in a crash that killed two Red Deer teenagers is back on.

About three weeks after cancelling her scheduled parole hearing, April Gail Beauclair, 33, has scheduled a new parole hearing. She is seeking unescorted temporary absences from jail.

On June 15, correspondence with the Parole Board of Canada indicated Beauclair had scheduled a parole hearing for Aug. 6 or 7. Then, on June 25, a news release indicated she had cancelled the hearing.

A message from the Parole Board of Canada on Thursday said the hearing was back on for Aug. 6 or 7. The hearing will focus on unescorted temporary absences from custody.

These types of absences provide inmates with an opportunity to access the community or another institution for medical, administrative, personal responsibility, compassionate reasons, community service, family contact, personal development or rehabilitative purposes.

Beauclair was convicted in October 2012 of two counts of impaired driving causing death and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in custody.

In March 2012, Beauclair drove her car at about 110 km/h into the back of a vehicle being pushed along Hwy 11A be three Red Deer teens.

Colton Keeler, 19, died at the scene. Tyson Vanderzwaag, 18, died in hospital six days after the crash. The car’s driver was pushing from the side of the car and suffered serious injuries.

The three teens were trying to push start their disabled car.

Beauclair was previously granted day parole, but was denied full parole in November 2013. At the time, the parole board ruled she needed a more structure environment. At that hearing, Beauclair said she had driven drunk more than 50 times before the morning of the fatal crash.

On Oct. 1, 2014, the parole board revoked her day parole due to a number of concerns about her behaviour. The parole board cited missed counselling and programing sessions that were part of her conditions for day parole. She also cancelled her programs without consulting her parole officer.

Beauclair is eligible for statutory release on Sept. 9. Statutory release is mandated by law and not granted by the parole board. Most offenders receive it after serving two-thirds of their sentence.

However, the parole board can impose conditions on an offender’s release.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com