A court proceeding for an impaired driver took a strange twist last week in Bracebridge.
Appearing virtually, Craig Bruce, 27, pled guilty to refusing to comply with a demand for a breath sample and operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Court heard that Bruce was arrested on Sept. 1, 2019 for operating a vessel on Lake Rosseau with more than 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood in his system.
He was under court-ordered terms when police received a call about a car crash on Highway 141 on Sept. 6, 2020 at roughly 7:30 pm. Court heard that Bruce was driving the vehicle at a high rate of speed around a curve in the highway when he lost control. He crashed the vehicle into a ditch rolling it several times. The vehicle ultimately came to rest upside down in a driveway.
Several people saw the accident, court heard, and called 911. Bruce ultimately refused to provide a suitable breath or blood sample to the police, but the court heard that police formed reasonable grounds to charge him with impaired driving.
However, the proceedings came to an abrupt halt when Justice Gregory Regis noticed Bruce was appearing via Zoom from the driver’s seat of a vehicle. Bruce said it was not his vehicle, it was not currently running and he did not have the keys, but Regis said it was highly inappropriate.
“What is this? Come on, this is a courtroom,” said Justice Regis. “Mr. Bruce, you need to start conducting yourself properly.”
He ordered the guilty plea struck from the record and new proceedings to take place in a more suitable fashion.
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