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Jail for refusing breath test

Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Mar 02/05) - A drunk driver who refused to take a breathalyser test after getting his car stuck in a snowbank has been sentenced to seven weekends in jail and barred from driving for two years.

Daniel Hawkins, 23, admitted Feb. 15 in territorial court to refusing the test - which determines a person's blood alcohol level - after he was arrested by police on Nov. 23, 2004.

Hawkins had a previous impaired driving conviction in British Columbia, prompting Crown Attorney Sandra Aitken to ask for the jail term - which chief judge Brian Bruser allowed him to serve intermittently.

Hawkins was driving his car down Taylor Road, near the Yellowknife fire hall, at around 2:30 a.m. when he stopped in the middle of the road and backed his car into a snowbank, Aitken said.

With the car firmly stuck, Hawkins got out and waved his arms in the air, trying to get the help of passing motorists, a witness told police.

When officers arrived on the scene, they noticed Hawkins had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol. He was forced to balance himself on the hood of his car.

He was taken to the detachment for a breathalyser test, but refused. Aitken said he told police "Either way I'm busted" and walked toward a holding cell.