Sixth drunk driving offence for N.S. man lands him two years in prison

Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post
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SYDNEY - A 30-year-old Howie Centre father of three was sentenced Wednesday to two years in a federal prison and prohibited from driving for 15 years after pleading guilty to his sixth drinking-and-driving conviction.

John Alexander Mullins must also complete a three-year probation period after his jail sentence, which also included a 62-day concurrent sentence in default for 35 outstanding fines under the Motor Vehicle Act. The fines, incurred between 2003 and 2013, totalled $43,899.67.

“Yours is the worst driving record to come before me in some 15 years,”  provincial court Judge David Ryan said in passing sentence.

Ryan said the driving record shows that Mullins was totally inconsiderate when it came to protecting the lives and safety of others, and that it was simply good fortune that Mullins never killed or injured anyone as a result of his drinking and driving.

The first conviction was registered in 2003 when Mullins pleaded guilty to failing a breathalyzer demand and was fined and prohibited from driving for one-year. He was again convicted in 2004 and sentenced to 14 days and banned from driving for two years. He was convicted in 2007 for failing a breathalyzer test and sentenced to 14 days in jail, a driving ban for two years, and 18 months probation. In 2010, Mullins was again convicted of refusal and sentenced to 45 days, a two-year driving ban and one year of probation.

His sentence Wednesday were on his fifth and sixth conviction on two counts of refusal and two counts of driving while disqualified in April 2012 and October 2012.

Both Crown prosecutor Glen Gouthro and defence lawyer Cheryl Morrison recommended Mullins be banned from driving for life. However, the judge expressed concern over such a total ban.

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