Charges with­drawn from Nor­wood ac­cused

The Peterborough Examiner - - News - TODD VANDONK

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.

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