Charges withdrawn from Norwood accused
Steven Foster’s impaired driving charges have been withdrawn.
Justice Robert Benninger found the Norwood man not guilty of being in care and control of his van in April 2016 when police found him passed out in the front seat of the vehicle in the Holiday Inn parking lot on George Street.
Benninger delivered his ruling in Peterborough provincial court last Wednesday.
In March, Foster testified in his own defence. The 37-year-old’s lawyer Dave McFadden told the court his client was just trying to do the right thing when he planned ahead to sleep in his van after a night of drinking at the Junction Nightclub.
“I had no intentions of driving,” Foster said when he testified on March 19.
He told the court that the morning in question started the night before when he and a friend came to Peterborough for the night. The plan was to park his van, which had bunk beds in the back for sleeping, in the back at the Holiday Inn lot on George Street, and go drinking at the Junction Nightclub.
He says they intended to wake up the next morning and go for breakfast at Smitty’s across the street before hitting the road to Quebec for a rodeo.
“I had roughly six beers,” he said.
Foster said he left the bar before his friend and went back to the van to sleep.
He claims he was in the back of the van sleeping, but at some point made his way to the front by climbing between the driver and passenger seats.
“I got cold,” he explained, admitting he started the vehicle and cranked the heat before passing out in the driver’s seat.
“It was an error in judgment,” he adds.
City police came knocking at his window around 5 a.m. He was charged with impaired operation by alcohol, and operation over 80 milligrams.
Humphrey said it’s alarming that the accused was planning on driving the next morning.
“It creates a real risk he was going to drive impaired.”
McFadden said his client’s alcohol-to-blood level wasn’t very high and he wasn’t in a hurry to leave that morning as the plan was to eat before hitting the road.
“He knew enough not to drive,” McFadden said.