Drinker off the road
Rae man Sentenced to another 11 months

by Derek Neary
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 17/98) - A Rae man who pleaded guilty to impaired driving and refusing a breathalyser test was sentenced to 11 months in jail in Yellowknife territorial court Tuesday.

Clifford Johnstone, 29, was initially charged on January 2 in Rae after nearly backing into a pursuing RCMP cruiser. He was found to be driving despite a prohibition to do so and refused to blow into a breathalyser.

He was then found to be driving while intoxicated again on Jan. 24, this time in Yellowknife. His breathalyser readings were twice the legal limit.

Johnstone had three previous impaired-driving charges on his record. In 1990, he was sentenced to seven years but was paroled in 1995, only to return to jail months later.

Johnstone, who is supporting his pregnant common-law spouse and a step-daughter, told judge Robert Halifax that he needs to pay his financial debts and plans to "take more treatments."

Halifax replied, "I do recognize your family situation ... but any chances of leniency are well gone by the board at this point."

After serving his time in jail, Johnstone will be prohibited from driving for a period of three years.

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