Weekends in jail for prohibited driver
A four-time impaired driver will spend several weekends in jail after he was caught driving while prohibited, with the presiding judge saying he expects to see the man before him again in the future.
Rony Flores, 44, appeared before Judge Larry Allen in Steinbach provincial court last Thursday to plead guilty to driving while prohibited on Oct. 7 of last year.
Crown attorney Sarah Thiessen said Steinbach RCMP nabbed Flores while patrolling with an automatic licence plate scanner.
At the time, Flores was under a five-year driving ban after recording his fourth impaired driving conviction a few months earlier. Court records show the previous three convictions occurred in 2008, 2018, 2019.
“I wonder if Mr. Flores is capable of waking up,” Allen mused from the bench. “Based on the fact that he’s flaunted the drinking and driving prohibition, I can’t imagine we won’t see him again soon for driving while prohibited.”
A roadside breath test confirmed Flores had no alcohol in his system, though that fact failed to impress Allen.
“There’s little to be said in a favourable light for somebody who’s got four relatively recent drive-impaired (convictions) and is behind the wheel of a car,” Allen said. “The fact that he’s not drunk on this occasion is of minor significance.”
“You haven’t shown any ability to learn from your mistakes up to now. We’re lucky, as a society, that you haven’t hurt somebody.”
Defence lawyer Barry Walker said Flores was born in Bolivia and experienced “discrimination and prejudice” while growing up in Canada, causing him to become an angry and frustrated young man who fell in with the wrong crowd.
Flores was sentenced to 45 days in jail, to be served on weekends so he can remain employed as a manual labourer. A year of probation will follow his release, and his five-year driving ban will continue. Allen also imposed $102 in court costs and surcharges.
“For somebody with four recent alcohol-related convictions, you’re robbing the bank here,” Allen said. “This is a great deal.”