A near-empty bottle of alcohol lies next to keys in front of a blurred-out image of a man holding a half-full glass.A Niagara man, who racked up his ninth conviction for impaired driving and 13th conviction for driving while disqualified, has been jailed for six months and banned from driving for life.

“The only way to protect the public is to separate him from the public,” assistant Crown attorney Bob Mahler said in an Ontario Court of Justice in Welland on Wednesday at the sentencing hearing of George English.

English had pleaded guilty to charges of impaired driving and drive while disqualified back in May. He has been in custody since he was arrested in November.

Judge Tory Colvin gave English credit for the time he had spent in pre-trial custody – the equivalent of a 12-month sentence. He was sentenced to an additional six months behind bars.

English, a mechanic, was arrested Nov. 2 after police clocked him driving up to 140 kilometres per hour on Highway 406 near Highway 20. A subsequent breath test determined he was intoxicated.

“We all make bad choices and Mr. English has made his fair share and this was one of them,” defence counsel Jeff Root told the judge.

He said his client had received some distressing news about his daughter shortly before the incident and had turned to alcohol to “deal with his emotions.”

The judge said he hopes the defendant will work with the probation office to come up with alternative coping mechanisms.

“The last place you should be looking is at the bottom of a bottle,” Colvin said.

Source: Niagara Falls Review