Ditched driver will pay heavy price

H.P. court docket
April 19, 2021
Judge J.K. Sihra

A High Prairie man stuck in a ditch near his driveway while impaired will be digging deep to pay for a hefty fine.
Jason Howard Cox, 48, was fined $3,000, plus a victim fine surcharge of $900, for impaired driving when he appeared in High Prairie provincial court April 19.
High Prairie RCMP responded to a call of a vehicle stuck in a ditch on Highway 749 about 10 km north of High Prairie on Dec. 24, 2020 at 12:20 a.m., Crown prosecutor Nuha Abunada says.
The motor of the vehicle was still running when officers arrived.
“He was sleeping on his steering wheel,” Abunada says.
“He tried to exit the vehicle with his seat belt still on.”
Police found Cox intoxicated. He was unable to walk by himself after he was outside the vehicle.
“Officers had to help him get into the police car,” the Crown says.
“When an officer went to get the key out of his vehicle, he found an empty bottle in the rear seat.”
Cox was remorseful for his actions.
“It was an honest mistake,” Cox says.
Judge J.K. Sirha supported the joint submission from the Crown and defence lawyer Harry Jong.
Cox was drinking whiskey with a friend and then decided to go home and then got stuck in a ditch near his driveway, Jong says.
Jong says Cox has not had a drink of alcohol since the incident.
Cox has taken steps on his own to take treatment to overcome his alcohol abuse.
He was also suspended from driving for one year.
Cox was also fined $405 for failing to obey a stop sign in another incident.

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Gerald Laboucan, 48, of Atikameg, was fined $800 for death threats.
He was sentenced after he pleaded guilty just before his trial Nov. 3, 2020.
The trial did not proceed.
Laboucan threatened High Prairie RCMP officer when EMS was also called to an Atikameg home April 2, 2020, Crown prosecutor Nuha Abunada says.
“You better get out of here before I kick you in the face,” the Crown quoted the threat as Laboucan was being treated by EMS.
Laboucan was remorseful for his actions, lawyer Harry Jong says.
“He apologized to police,” Jong says.
“He says he said a stupid thing to the cops.
“He was ashamed of what he said.”
Laboucan says he can’t remember much about the incident because he was in a bloody state at the time, Jong says.

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Nathan M. Straner was fined $3,000, including the victim fine surcharge, for driving a motor vehicle with no insurance.
He admits the vehicle did not have insurance the day he was stopped by Town of High Prairie peace officers.
“I just finished picking up the vehicle that day,” Straner says.

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