Drunk WestJet passenger who caused plane to reroute ordered to pay $21,000 for the fuel

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The U.K. man whose « absolutely disgusting » drunken behaviour caused a WestJet flight to turn around and land back in Calgary must pay the airline $21,260.68 — the cost of the wasted fuel. 

David Stephen Young, 44, pleaded guilty last week to charges under the Aeronautics Act and Criminal Code of failing to comply with safety instructions and resisting arrest.

« One has to feel some sympathy for the accused but as in all criminal legislation, it is trite to say that the voice of the victim must also be heard, » said provincial court Judge Brian Stevenson in delivering his sentencing decision.

The victims, Stevenson noted, include the flight crew, passengers, WestJet and its shareholders as well as the police and CBSA officers, who were also at the receiving end of Young’s tirade.

Young is an alcoholic but had been sober for 18 months until Jan. 4, when he consumed about six drinks while waiting to board his flight. The U.K. resident had been visiting his mother in B.C. over the holidays and was depressed because of a death in the family and a failed marriage, according to the facts of the case presented in court last week.

Once Young boarded a flight in Calgary bound for London, he became belligerent with flight crew and a fellow passenger, and repeatedly tried to get up during take-off to use the washroom.

About an hour into Young’s abusive behaviour, the decision was made to turn the plane around.

The pilot had to burn off and then dump 20,000 pounds of fuel in order to land safely, according to the facts of the case, read aloud in court last week by prosecutor Lori Ibrus.

Ibrus had requested a $65,000 restitution order but Stevenson said he didn’t want the court-ordered payment to bankrupt Young.

WestJet’s total losses — which include the cost of the fuel and compensation for its passengers — could be more than $200,000.

Week behind bars

In a written statement read by his lawyer last week, Young apologized for his behaviour and for the « damage and inconvenience » he caused to his fellow travellers. 

Defence lawyer Michelle Parhar had sought a $5,000 to $8,000 restitution order for her client.

Young also spent one week at the Calgary Remand Centre before he was released on bail.

It will be very difficult for Young to ever enter Canada again, said Parhar.

Once Young returns to the U.K., « he’s essentially barred from entering Canada, barred from seeing his mother in B.C., » said Parhar.

Stevenson noted WestJet could make a civil claim against Young if it wanted to try to recover more of its losses.

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Canadians could now be charged with drunk driving — even if not drunk, lawyers warn

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Canadians could now face criminal charges for driving with illegal amounts of alcohol in their system, even if they were stone cold sober while behind the wheel, under tough new impaired driving laws passed by Parliament, according to criminal defence lawyers.

Bill C-46, which came into effect last month, gives police wide-ranging new powers to demand sobriety tests from drivers, boaters and even canoeists.

Police no longer need to have any reasonable grounds to suspect you’re impaired, or driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than .08, which is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, before demanding you submit to testing.

Refusing the test can result in a criminal charge.

But even drinking within two hours after you’ve stopped driving or boating could now get you arrested, if your BAC rises over .08

Defence lawyer Daniel Brown says part of the bill may be unconstitutional. (CBC)

Law is unconstitutional, lawyer says

« I think anyone should have a problem with this legislation, because it’s unconstitutional, » Toronto lawyer Daniel Brown said.

When introducing the bill, federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said the law would help crack down on people who consume large quantities of alcohol in a short period, then drive or boat, hoping to get home before the alcohol is fully absorbed into their systems.

Previously, if drivers could prove they weren’t yet over the legal limit  when they were stopped by police, a court could find them innocent.

The new law removes that defence.

« Its primary purpose is to eliminate risky behaviour associated with bolus drinking, sometimes referred to as drinking and dashing » Wilson-Raybould told Parliament.

But Brown calls the law a solution for a problem that rarely existed and claims it will « criminalize Canadians who have done nothing wrong. »

He points to number of scenarios where people park their cars with no intention of driving anytime soon, then start drinking.

« You can imagine a situation where a husband and wife are out together. The husband drives to the bar knowing the wife will be the designated driver on the way home, and she’s not going to be consuming alcohol that night. The husband drinks alcohol and is now over the limit and has driven a vehicle within the previous two hours, » said Brown.

Brown says police can legally enter the bar, or wait for the couple to leave the establishment and demand a breath sample from the husband.

« Even if he’s walking to the passenger side of the car, if he is now over 80, » added Brown, he could be arrested.

Arrest has serious consequences

An arrest for driving over the limit comes with an automatic 90-day driver’s licence suspension and potentially increased insurance premiums. Those who fight the criminal charge in court would likely have to spend thousands of dollars on legal fees as well.

According to several lawyers canvassed by CBC News, police can come to your home up to two hours after you stopped driving or boating to test your sobriety.

RCMP Const. Raymond Lee speaks with a motorist while looking for impaired drivers during a roadside check in Surrey, B.C. A Toronto lawyer says a bill that toughens impaired driving laws is ‘a breach of the charter.’ (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Potentially complicating matters is the fact the charge is considered a « reverse onus » in legal terms. Essentially, that means police don’t have to prove your BAC was over the limit when you were driving, or boating two hours earlier.

It’s now up to you to prove you were sober.

It’s unclear if anyone in Canada has been arrested under the new two hour law yet, but lawyers CBC News has spoken to insist any such case will be fought all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada to test the law’s constitutionality.

And Ontario’s Criminal Lawyers’ Association has warned the government the law could result in thousands of wrongful convictions.

‘Fear mongering,’ MADD says

But Andy Murie of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says lawyers have got it wrong and accuses them of « fear mongering. »  

Murie, who is not a lawyer, insists police still need probable cause to demand a sobriety test.

« Only if [police] suspect that you’ve committed an offence of drunk driving and they are following the investigation, and that investigation took them to your house or your bar » can they demand a sobriety test, he said.

Murie says a spot check would be an exception, and police can legally test everyone stopped.

Toronto criminal defence lawyer Calvin Barry, who has defended hundreds of drunk driving cases, says MADD has it wrong.

« Police do not require reasonable suspicion any longer, » Barry told CBC News..

Barry also warns Canadians they can be arrested and charged within the new two-hour time frame if their BAC has risen over the limit — even if they had been sober when they parked their car and planned to take a cab or transit home later.

« That is just a flagrant contravention of one’s civil liberties and a breach of the charter, » Barry said.

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Higher drunk driving fines, static minimum wage: These are the changes taking effect in Ontario in 2019

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Fines for drunk driving are going up starting New Year’s Day while the minimum wage holds steady at $14 and politicians will once again be allowed to attend their fundraising events under Ontario law.

Other changes taking effect Jan. 1 under Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government include a tax credit for low-income families, higher political donation limits and new rules for collection agencies.

New requirements for unpaid leave days under Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government, which repealed the previous Liberal government’s mandatory paid leave days, also take effect Jan. 1.
New requirements for unpaid leave days under Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government, which repealed the previous Liberal government’s mandatory paid leave days, also take effect Jan. 1.  (Graham Hughes / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE)

Impaired drivers with blood alcohol concentrations in the “warning range” between .05 per cent and .08 per cent will now face fines of $250 for a first offence, $350 for a second offence and $450 for third and subsequent offences.

The same penalties apply for failing a roadside sobriety test or violating “zero tolerance” rules for new and commercial drivers.

Police will also be able to issue $580 fines to drivers who refuse to take a drug or alcohol test, whose blood alcohol hits .08 per cent or who are determined to be impaired by an officer trained as a drug recognition evaluator.

While the government said in a statement these measures will “ensure Ontario’s roads are safe for everyone,” Andrew Murrie, president of the lobby group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, told the Star that increasing fines isn’t much of a deterrent.

He called on Ford’s government to pass a law that vehicles be impounded for three days if drivers are caught with a blood-alcohol level in the warning range, as several other provinces do.

“That makes an incredible difference in driver behaviour,” Murrie said. “People do not want to lose their car at roadside.”

B.C., for example, saw drunk driving-related deaths halved and Saskatchewan has seen a 40-per-cent reduction, he added.

On minimum wage, Ford is keeping a campaign promise to hold it steady at $14, axing the previous Liberal government’s plan for a $1 raise to $15.

The move, widely applauded by business groups and criticized by anti-poverty advocates, comes with other measures to tone down Liberal labour law reforms Ford said would cost employers too much and hurt job creation.

“When business succeeds, workers succeed, families succeed, communities succeed,” he said this fall in touting his “open for business” strategy.

Mandatory paid leave days have been repealed and replaced with requirements that employers allow a minimum of three unpaid days for personal illness, two unpaid bereavement days and three unpaid leave days for family emergencies.

The minimum wage will be frozen until 2020 and then increase by the annual rate of inflation, meaning the $15 level won’t be reached for another four or five years.

To offset the impact of the static minimum wage, the PCs are bringing in a new tax credit called LIFT — short for low income individuals and families.

“It will provide low-income and minimum wage workers up to $850 in Ontario personal income tax relief and couples up to $1,700 when they file their 2019 tax returns,” the government said in a year-end statement.

Critics say low-income workers would be better off with a minimum-wage increase because the money comes right away in their pay — instead of waiting another year to file their 2019 tax returns — and that many low-rate workers don’t pay income tax.

As Ontario’s political parties recover from expenses incurred in last spring’s election campaign, allowable donations are being increased to match the federal maximum of $1,600.

The previous Liberal government’s ban on MPPs and prospective candidates attending fundraisers is being lifted, raising the spectre of “cash for access” events where donors get to lobby politicians.

Donors will no longer have to certify their contributions are being made from their own funds — a move criticized as a “back door” way for unions and corporations to bankroll political parties.

In a measure aimed at discouraging collection agencies from using unsavoury tactics in recouping funds, agencies employing more than 10 people will be required to record all telephone calls and to keep them for one year.

Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robferguson1

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Olympic champ among curling foursome booted from bonspiel for being ‘extremely drunk’

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The curling foursome of Jamie Koe, Ryan Fry, Chris Schille, and DJ Kidby was kicked out of the Red Deer Curling Classic on Sunday for « unacceptable behaviour » that included being « extremely drunk. »

The four were ejected from the World Curling Tour event and forced to forfeit their final match.

After receiving numerous complaints from opponents and spectators, the tournament committee at the Red Deer Curling Centre was compelled to intervene.

« They went out to curl and they were extremely drunk and breaking brooms and swearing and just unacceptable behaviour that nobody wants to watch or hear or listen to and it was just ‘enough was enough,' » facility manager Wade Thurber told CBC Sports.

« There was some damage in the locker room and other teams complaining about their stuff being kicked around in the locker room. So at the end of the day, it was like ‘OK, that’s enough of this gong show.’ The committee for the bonspiel collectively decided that we needed to remove them from the spiel for this year and what happens down the road, I’m not sure yet. »

However, a sign was placed on the main board of the arena to make it clear that a decision had been made to remove Koe’s team from the competition and all future events at the club.

« We did that because we had so many complaints from other players and teams, not to mention the spectators, and so we wanted them to know that we did something about it, » said Thurber. 

« We had people taking pictures of the sign and also lots of people telling us we did the right thing. When you have people complaining like that, there is a need to do something, right? »

Olympic champ apologizes for ’embarrassing’ actions 

Fry, who is normally a third on Brad Jacobs’ team, was serving as a spare with Koe’s team at the event. He lives in Calgary while the rest of the team curls out of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and says a bad lapse in judgment affected the experience for others.

« I would like to sincerely apologize to the fans, participants and organizers of the Red Deer Curling Classic, » Fry said in a statement to CBC Sports.

« I came to the event to play and enjoy the sport. My actions were truly disrespectful and embarrassing — the committee was right to disqualify us from play. »

Fry won gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi as a member of Team Canada along with Jacobs, E.J. Harnden, Ryan Harnden and alternate Caleb Flaxey. He’s played in 10 Briers and won both the national title and world championship in 2013.

« I allowed myself to lose control and I offended people with my actions. I wish nothing more than to apologize to everyone individually, » Fry said.

« I will be taking proper steps to ensure this problem can never happen again and I will strive to become a better version of myself while contributing positively to the sport and curling community that I love so much. »

Thurber, who said he « probably did them a favour » by kicking them out, admits he may have worded his notice harshly as far as Team Koe’s future at the event, but said it was important to deliver a stern message.

« Maybe the wording wasn’t quite right on that paper. At the end of the day, we put it up because we wanted all the spectators and the curlers to know that we’ve done something about it, because there was quite a bit of backlash, getting lots of complaints and everyone saying the same thing that we needed to get them out of here, » Thurber said.

« Then people were commenting and saying ‘I suppose they just have to apologize and they’re back in next year.’ So we kind of said it in a way that there’s no guarantee that’s what’s going to happen — an apology may no cut it. » 

Thurber added that the event committee was asked by the World Curling Tour to file a formal complaint. 

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I ‘won’t get parole’ from my misery, mom of 3 dead children says at drunk driver Marco Muzzo’s parole hearing

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GRAVENHURST, ONT.—The parents of three children killed by drunk driver Marco Muzzo are urging the parole board not to release him.

A his parole hearing Wednesday, Muzzo, 32, is asking the board for release on day parole. He pleaded guilty in court in 2016 to several counts of impaired driving causing death and bodily harm for the 2015 crash that killed 65-year-old Gary Neville and his three grandchildren, Daniel Neville-Lake, 9, Harrison, 5, and Milagros, 2. The children’s grandmother and great-grandmother were also seriously injured when Muzzo’s SUV slammed into the family’s minivan.

The 2015 crash killed 65-year-old Gary Neville and his three grandchildren, from left to right, Harrison, 5, Milagros, 2, and Daniel, 9.
The 2015 crash killed 65-year-old Gary Neville and his three grandchildren, from left to right, Harrison, 5, Milagros, 2, and Daniel, 9.  (Kay Prince Photography / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

“I don’t and won’t get parole from this life sentence of misery and despair,” mother Jennifer Neville-Lake told the board at Beaver Creek prison in an emotional statement.

She said Muzzo’s expression of remorse rings hollow as he is applying for day parole at the first opportunity.

“I miss just hearing their voices in the house. I miss being a dad,” said Edward Lake in a statement read on his behalf.

Muzzo is considered a low risk to reoffend and his case-management team feels “very strongly” his risk to the community can be managed if he is released to a halfway house for day parole, as well as on full parole when eligible next May.

Read more:

‘You killed all my babies,’ grieving mother tells Marco Muzzo

Marco Muzzo offers tearful apology to grieving couple at sentencing hearing

Marco Muzzo wants damages reduced in lawsuit over drunk driving deaths

“I should have known better, I took a chance,” Muzzo, at times crying, told the board about his decision to drive that day.

The board is expected to make a decision on parole later Wednesday.

An inmate is eligible for day parole six months prior to having served one-third of their sentence. For Muzzo, one-third of his 10-year sentence is next May.

On top of his 10-year prison sentence, Muzzo was also banned from driving for 12 years.

“For as long as Mr. Muzzo has been alive, courts have warned about the consequences of impaired driving,” Superior Court Justice Michelle Fuerst said when she sentenced the then-29-year-old Muzzo in March 2016. “Yet the message escaped him. It is important that it does not escape others.”

The case attracted widespread attention due to the young age of many of the victims and the Muzzo family’s enormous wealth — estimated at $1.8 billion according to Canadian Business magazine.

It also marked a turning point in the sentencing range for impaired driving causing death, which had previously been about four to eight years in prison, even though the offence carries a maximum term of life in prison. Legal experts said at the time that Muzzo’s 10-year sentence was likely the highest in Canadian history for an offender with no criminal record and who had pleaded guilty.

Court heard that Muzzo’s blood-alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit when he ran a stop sign in Vaughan in September 2015 and crashed into the family’s minivan.

He had picked up his vehicle at Pearson airport after returning from his bachelor party in Miami on a private plane.

A spokesperson speaking to the media before Wednesday’s hearing said the board’s No. 1 question for the day will be: “What is the likelihood that Marco Muzzo will reoffend?”

Offenders typically go to a halfway house if granted day parole. Full parole means the offender can propose a release plan for the board’s approval, which could include release to his home.

Offenders can also cancel or postpone their parole hearing right up to the last minute.

Jacques Gallant is a Toronto-based reporter covering legal affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @JacquesGallant

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Supreme Court limits when accused drunk drivers can get breathalyzer logs

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Canada’s top court has set new limits for defendants trying to beat a drunk-driving charge in a ruling that may have consequences for anyone accused of being high behind the wheel.

What the Supreme Court of Canada laid out over two decisions released Friday was a framework for when an accused person can get the maintenance log of a breathalyzer so they can question how well the device worked and whether the results can be trusted.

The high court said an accused can get the logs only if they can show that the records are relevant to their defence.

Defence lawyers regularly ask for the records, often held by private companies or police forces, even though they may not be directly related to the evidence collected as part of a case. In each of the cases the court ruled, the Crown argued it didn’t have to hand over the information.

In a near-unanimous ruling on two drunk-driving cases coming out of Alberta, the court said the records are not material to how a breathalyzer works when a driver is tested, only whether the device was properly maintained.

« The only question that must be answered is whether the machines were operating properly at the time of the test — not before or after, » Justice Malcolm Rowe wrote for the majority.

« The time-of-test records directly deal with this. The maintenance records, according to the expert evidence, do not. »

Justice Suzanne Cote was the lone dissenter.

A ‘highly instructive’ ruling

The decisions mark the second time this decade the court has weighed in on how far breathalyzer tests can be challenged in court using maintenance and training records, and defence lawyers believe it takes away another option for those trying to answer an impaired driving charge.

Defence lawyers will have a difficult time showing the maintenance records are relevant to the case if they can’t see the documents to begin with, said Lisa Jorgensen, a partner in the Toronto law firm of Cooper Jorgensen.

« It is, I would suggest, nearly impossible for the defence to ever show those records are likely to contain anything in particular other than the possibility of error, » she said.

« It’s confusing and very challenging. »

Ottawa-based lawyer Michael Spratt said the Supreme Court ruling will be « highly instructive » for judges when they consider requests for maintenance logs for roadside marijuana tests.

« It, I think, does tilt the slope so that accused will have an uphill battle to make the arguments to get the records of those machines as well, » Spratt said.

New impaired driving offences that took effect at the end of June set limits on how much THC, the primary psychoactive element in marijuana, a person can legally have in their system before they face penalties ranging from a $1,000 fine to a one-year driving suspension, to up to 120 days in jail.

To prove the offences, police have to take blood samples within a two-hour window.

Drager DrugTest 5000

The federal government has approved one roadside device to check if a driver is high, but some police forces are hesitant about using the Drager DrugTest 5000.

Courts may be hesitant to put as much faith in the drug tests as they do with breathalyzers, eventually leading to a similar decision from the Supreme Court on the relevance of certain records in drug-impaired driving cases, said Stephanie DiGiuseppe, who specializes in criminal and constitutional law with Ruby, Shiller, Enenajor, DiGiuseppe Barristers.

« A lot of it will come down to obtaining records and finding out about these new devices, » she said.

« We’ve not put these new devices through the muster to getting anywhere close to a level of confidence for courts. »

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Drunk Elephant’s D-Bronzi Serum Works Great As Long As You Mix It Right | Healthyish

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If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard of Drunk Elephant. Because whatever instinct steered you to a website called Healthyish probably also led you to this “it” healthyish beauty line. Free of controversial ingredients like silicones, drying alcohols, and fragrances, Drunk Elephant was one of the first brands to hit the skincare scene, and it surpassed the competition quickly after.

Do a quick Google-search for “Drunk Elephant reviews” and it’ll pull up pages and pages of gushing testimonials and breathless “I tried it!” blog posts. Unlike other natural skincare brands, which often skimp on science, founder Tiffany Masterson created the brand to be both clean and clinical, meaning the products still pack a punch. All you have to do is feel the tingle of the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum to know that that stuff is working.

So I was eager to take the D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops, which launched this summer, out for a test drive. (Plus, I need to troubleshoot my dark olive skin, which in the winter turns so sallow that I look like I’m one Bloody Mary away from jaundice.) If you can get over the name “D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops,” which took me a week because I knew I would have to type it multiple times, you then have to go through the work of trying to understand what, exactly, this is. Is it self-tanner? Antioxidant serum? Bronzer? All of the above?

Technically, it’s a bronzing serum, which means that it has the deep, nutty color of a serious bronzer paired with, yes, an antioxidant serum. There are also hydrating fatty acids and peptides in the formula, which are beneficial for all skin types. But, even so, the anti-pollution benefits touted in the name seem like more of an afterthought. (It’s a nice afterthought! But it’s still an afterthought.) That’s partly because the pigment is so concentrated that it looks and acts far more like a makeup product than skincare.

Masterson says you can mix the D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops (ugh) with a number of things, like other serums, oil, sunscreen, or moisturizer. I first mix it with my moisturizer, and am immediately impressed by how sheer and subtle the glow-enhancing effect is, as though I spent a three-day weekend on an alpine hike. It also gives my skin a dewy finish, which I’m very into—until I remember that I still have to put on sunscreen. The SPF blurs out most of the sun-kissed color, and I’m back to square one.

The next day, I mix it with my sunscreen. I usually wear sunscreen that’s fairly liquid in texture, meaning it blends in easily and never looks chalky. But the sunscreen and bronzing serum together make me look a little too dewy, like I ate a Whopper Junior with cheese late last night and now, in the early light of dawn, all of the grease is finally emerging from my pores. And I already have oily skin! No, thank you.

Finally, I go off-label and combine it with my foundation. (It’s IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40, in case you too emit more grease than a drive-thru window.) The matte, oil-free foundation blends seamlessly with half a pump of the D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops. The resulting mixture gives me everything I want: glowing skin, a fresh finish, and just enough coverage to trick people into complimenting my skin. And protection against pollution, I guess.

I really like the D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops now that I’ve figured out how to pair it. It’ll take some experimenting for you, too, since everyone’s routines and skin types vary. Find the right delivery method, and you’re golden.

Buy it: D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops, $36

All products featured on Healthyish are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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