Impaired driver with children in vehicle gets fine, 12-month ban

Raissa Tetanish
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AMHERST - Amherst's Jamie Hepditch was pulled over for travelling 43 kilometres faster than the posted speed limit.

He also had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.110 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
And had two of his four children in the vehicle at the time.
Hepditch entered a guilty plea Monday to one count of impaired driving.
In presenting the facts, Crown attorney Mary Ellen Nurse told the court how RCMP Const. Charlie Smith noticed a vehicle just after 10 p.m., on Saturday travelling on the Trans Canada Highway from the Fort Lawrence exit across the border.
Smith, who was parked in the median observing traffic, clocked the vehicle at 143 kilometres an hour in a 100 km/h zone.
When Smith requested Hepditch's licence and registration, only the registration was produced.
That's when Smith noticed two children in the back seat of the truck.
"Mr. Hepditch explained his kids were very ill and was taking them to Port Elgin where they have an aunt that's a nurse," the Crown attorney explained.
The officer proceeded to ask why Hepditch didn't take the children to the hospital, and that he would call for an ambulance if they were that sick.
With another RCMP officer arriving on scene, the officer had smelled alcohol of the accused and a breathalyser test was performed, which failed.
Two subsequent retests at the RCMP detachment in West Amherst also concluded a sample that was over the 0.08 legal limit.
In delivering her sentence, Judge Carole Beaton said she found it difficult to reconcile that anything about Hepditch's behaviour was in the best interest of his children.
"Mr. Hepditch was travelling 43 kilometres over the posted speed limit and was willing to put his children at risk," Judge Beaton said.
Hepditch was given a fine of $1,000, as well as a $150 victim fine surcharge, or 16 days in custody, to be paid by Aug. 23. A 12-month driving prohibition was also enforced.
rtetanish@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: RCMP, Trans Canada Highway

Geographic location: Port Elgin, West Amherst

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