A repeat drunk driver who caused a violent accident after he got drunk at a golf tournament and drove more than 200 kilometres an hour down a Morinville-area highway should serve 18 months in prison, a prosecutor argued Wednesday.

On June 5, 2009, Darren Allen Shrumm’s blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit when he drove away from the Calahoo Hills Golf Course in his 2004 Chevrolet Silverado. The 35-year-old drove north on Highway 779 before heading east on Highway 37.

Around 4: 30 p.m., 29-year-old Donovan Benoit turned onto Highway 37 in his Ford Fusion. Benoit had only driven a short distance when Shrumm’s truck slammed into the back of his car.

Both men were taken to the University Hospital, Benoit by helicopter, Shrumm by ambulance. Benoit suffered serious injuries, including 10 broken ribs, spinal injuries and a deep cut to his scalp. He spent nearly two weeks in hospital. Both vehicles were destroyed, Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor told court.

RCMP determined Shrumm was travelling at 202 km/h in the seconds before he rear-ended Benoit’s car.

“For Heaven’s sake, he was three times over the legal limit and driving at full throttle,” Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Russell Brown said at Shrumm’s sentencing hearing Wednesday afternoon.

“This was not an accident, this was a criminal act,” Taylor added. “Mr. Benoit is still suffering today and will likely suffer discomfort to some degree for his whole life. It’s only by the grace of God that he survived.”

Taylor argued that Shrumm should serve 18 months in prison, followed by two years of probation. Shrumm has already been suspended from driving for three years.

Shrumm has a history of drunk driving and speeding. He was convicted of driving while impaired in 2000 and 2005, and has three speeding violations in the past decade.

Defence lawyer Walter Raponi told court that Shrumm should serve six to nine months in jail, followed by three years of probation with compulsory addictions counselling.

“He is extremely open to that,” Raponi said of the counselling. His client, a married father of two, is very remorseful about the crash, Raponi said.

In April, Shrumm pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing bodily harm.

A sentencing decision is expected Friday morning.

RELATED STORY: Drunk driver was travelling at more than 200 km/h before he slammed into another vehicle

Source: Edmonton Journal



Last updated on: 2013-07-17 | Link to this post