Drunk driver gets 18 months
Short trip, long-term consequences

by Derek Neary
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 10/98) - A drunken man on a short-lived joy ride received more than a slap on the wrist in territorial court Tuesday.

Phillip T'seleie, originally of Fort Good Hope, pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated on March 6. He had 24 previous convictions on his record, four of those for impaired driving.

He was sentenced to 18 months in jail and prohibited from driving for another two.

A drunken T'seleie, 27, was being escorted out of the Yellowknife Direct Charge Co-op on the day of the incident. He jumped into a van that was left running by another customer and proceeded to drive off towards the airport. Some drivers in the parking lot took action, cutting off T'seleie before he got too far.

After being forced to stop, T'seleie got out of the van, apologized to the owner and began walking back towards town. The RCMP arrested him soon thereafter with two cans of hairspray in his possession.

His breathalyser readings registered 0.220 and 0.210, nearly three times above the legal limit.

T'seleie's lawyer noted that he suffers from fetal alcohol effects, has a history of abusing solvents, has a Grade 1 education level and was receiving counselling through the Salvation Army.

"What a mess," Judge Michel Bourassa said of the circumstances.

"Submissions by defence counsel, in terms of a person's life, are heart-breaking."

But how would it help if he ran over a child? Bourassa asked.

"It's a miracle that he hasn't hit anyone yet," he said, adding that drunk drivers don't set out with the intention to harm others.

Top of pageDiscussion boardSearch