Jail time for drunk driver who badly injured passenger
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.