by P.J. Harston
Northern News Services
NNSL (Feb 14/97) - The president of Fort Liard's Metis local won't have to serve a 60-day drunk-driving sentence at the Yellowknife Correctional Centre after all.
On Tuesday Supreme Court Justice Virginia Schuler converted Ernie McLeod's sentence to intermittent time, to be served on weekends at the Fort Liard RCMP lock-up.
Territorial court judge Michel Bourassa sentenced McLeod to 60 days in jail last Thursday in Yellowknife after he pleaded guilty to the charge.
McLeod, 51, is also prohibited from driving for 12 months.
Court heard that McLeod had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit when RCMP pulled him over in front of the Gold Range bar in downtown Yellowknife, Dec. 4.
Crown lawyer Diane Sylvain told court that McLeod has four previous drunk-driving convictions that date back to the 1970s and 1980s.
Defence Lawyer Kelly Payne asked Bourassa to consider allowing McLeod, who is a business and family man, to serve his time on weekends in Liard.
Bourassa refused and said he would be doing McLeod "a favor" by sentencing him to straight time.
Schuler found no fault in Bourassa's sentence.
She noted that the Crown had not been opposed to an intermittent sentence during the original sentencing hearing, but Bourassa didn't have that information when he made his decision.
Sylvain maintained that position during the Supreme Court appeal.
"Had the Crown not taken the position it did, I probably wouldn't have intervened in this case," said Schuler.