Jail time for drunk driver who badly in­jured pas­sen­ger

Medicine Hat News - - HOMETOWN NEWS - PEGGY REV­ELL pre­v­ell@medicine­hat­news.com Twit­ter: MHNpre­v­ell

A Cal­gary man was given a five­month jail sen­tence for driv­ing im­paired and caus­ing a col­li­sion that has meant per­ma­nent health prob­lems for a pas­sen­ger in the ve­hi­cle.

Tracey James Sieg will also have a two-year driv­ing pro­hi­bi­tion, and two years of pro­ba­tion — which in­cludes be­ing re­quired to at­tend coun­selling for ad­dic­tions, a com­plete ban on con­sum­ing al­co­hol and hav­ing it in his res­i­dence, and not be­ing al­lowed into bars where al­co­hol may be served.

“You don’t get a pass of any kind af­ter caus­ing this much grief drunk,” said Judge Dar­win Greaves, dur­ing sen­tenc­ing Wed­nes­day at the Medicine Hat court­house.

Sieg was charged with im­paired driv­ing, im­paired driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily harm, and dan­ger­ous driv­ing af­ter the truck he was be­hind the wheel of struck a turn-sig­nal light at the in­ter­sec­tion of Dun­more Road and 22nd Street on Dec. 17, 2014. He was 41 at the time.

Sieg and the per­son in the pas­sen­ger’s seat were not harmed. The pas­sen­ger in the back­seat ended up in hos­pi­tal in se­ri­ous but sta­ble con­di­tion.

Sieg’s blood-al­co­hol level was mea­sured at a 160, con­sid­ered on the “edge” of be­ing a statu­tory ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tor for sen­tenc­ing.

He orig­i­nally en­tered not-guilty pleas to the three charges, but mid­way through his trial where he had no le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion, lo­cal lawyer Bill Cocks came on board to rep­re­sent him. A guilty plea was en­tered dur­ing the trial to the charge of im­paired driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily harm.

Part of the trial in­cluded tes­ti­mony from the vic­tim who had been se­ri­ously in­jured due to the col­li­sion, in­clud­ing how it had caused long-term health prob­lems, which means he could no longer pur­sue a ca­reer of be­com­ing a steel­worker.

Judge Greaves, who was the trial judge, noted the vic­tim wasn’t search­ing for vengeance, and there was “some el­e­ment of for­give­ness.” No vic­tim im­pact state­ment was sub­mit­ted.

The Crown re­quested a sen­tence of six to 12 months, while de­fence re­quested four months and the op­tion of serv­ing in­ter­mit­tently.

The re­morse of Sieg was noted dur­ing sen­tenc­ing, in­clud­ing a “sig­nif­i­cant, sin­cere apol­ogy” of­fered dur­ing the trial, said Cocks.

A pre­sen­tenc­ing re­port was also fac­tored into sen­tenc­ing, and Cocks stated that it shows Sieg is a “re­li­able and dili­gent work­ing man.”

When con­sid­er­ing sen­tenc­ing, Crown did raise the fact that Sieg cur­rently faces two counts of driv­ing while pro­hib­ited.

“If true, I sus­pect you might well look for­ward to the wrath of the court,” he said about what sen­tence Sieg could face for these new charges — but not fac­tor­ing them into this sen­tence as Sieg has yet to be con­victed on these new charges.

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