It was October 2012 when 30-year-old Daniel Hoffman got behind the wheel of his black Dodge 4x4 pickup while impaired.

On March 19, Stony Plain provincial court Judge Charles Gardner presided as Hoffman pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing bodily harm and impaired driving causing death.

According to the agreed statement of facts, read by Crown prosecutor Scott Pittman, Hoffman was driving down Range Road 31 at a speed somewhere around the 100 km/h mark in very foggy weather, and failed to see the stop sign where the road intersected with Highway 16.

He slid into the intersection and hit an oncoming Nissan Maxima, killing the passenger and injuring the driver.

He failed a screening test, blowing samples of 0.13 and 0.15.

Both the Crown and defence attorney Vernon Eichhorn agreed sentencing for impaired driving causing death is all over the map in case law. Pittman cited examples from 10 months to 10 years imprisonment, and Eichhorn said he’s seen one as low as 90 days, although that ruling was appealed.

Pittman said he’s suggesting a sentence somewhere in the four to six year range, with a lifetime prohibition on driving after Hoffman’s release, although he said he would be amenable to Hoffman being allowed to pursue the province’s Interlock program after four or five years.

Eichhorn said Hoffman has experienced genuine remorse for the incident and carries a great sense of shame for what happened.

In the midst of facing his charges, Hoffman found out he would be a father in a week. Since then, he’s saved up money to ensure the mother of his child gets support payments while he’s in jail.

Eichhorn submitted that there are a number of significant mitigating factors, including Hoffman’s guilty plea and his acceptance of responsibility.

Gardner told the courtroom he needed time to consider punishment, and since he had only a few hours before leaving the country he would have to give his ruling when he returned.

Gardner’s decision will be handed down on April 22.

Source: Spruce Grove Examiner



Last updated on: 2014-04-25 | Link to this post