Charges laid following May 2010 crash
AMHERST – A 41-year-old Pugwash Junction man, who’s considered an habitual drunk driver, has been handed a five-year prison term following a car crash near Oxford in May 2010.
Stephen Daniel Polley was found guilty in Amherst provincial court in May of impaired driving, dangerous driving and impaired driving.
Polley has a criminal record going back 22 years to 1991 and has four previous convictions for impaired driving, three for refusing the breathalyzer and eight for driving while his licence was suspended.
Judge Paul Scovil was told Polley and a friend spent the afternoon of May 29, 2010 drinking alcohol after completing a construction job in Moncton. The pair headed home with Polley behind the wheel of his van.
Witnesses said Polley’s vehicle was pulling in and out of traffic at high speed. He eventually crashed his vehicle into a ditch on Highway 104 near Oxford after swerving in front of a tractor trailer and losing control.
Polley was ejected from the vehicle while his passenger remained buckled in the van. Neither person suffered any serious injuries.
“That no one was killed or injured during the course of Mr. Polley’s driving can be described as nothing short of a miracle,” Scovil said in his written sentence.
When he is released from prison, Polley will be suspended from driving for 20 years and had to provide a DNA sample for the national databank.
The judge noted that traffic on the highway on the date in question was extremely busy, even for a 100-series highway and he said Polley “has not come to recognize the extreme difficulties that his interaction with alcohol has on both himself, his family and the community.”
Scovil said Polley’s record indicates past sentences have done little “to deter this specific accused from impaired driving and driving while prohibited. Clearly the only manner in which to give impetus to the principles in the Criminal Code is for the court to impose a significant custodial sentence to the offender.”