‘I’m just sorry that this all happened’

Scales of JusticeA former Durham Region Transit bus operator convicted of impaired driving while on the job has been sentenced to 42 days in jail and prohibited from getting behind the wheel for two years.

Kirstin Hasted endangered the passengers on her crowded bus as she drove drunk in September of 2015, eventually colliding with another vehicle in Pickering, Ontario court Justice John Olver noted in passing sentence.

“Every person on that bus was at risk,” the judge said in court on Tuesday, June 20. “You owed a duty to every person on that bus.”

Hasted, 41, was convicted of impaired driving and failing to provide a breath sample after a trial earlier this spring.

Court heard from riders who testified Hasted appeared drowsy and that the bus veered from its lane and braked abruptly at stops as it travelled along Highway 2 between Oshawa and Pickering.

When the bus was involved in a minor collision near Whites Road, Hasted shouted out the window at the other driver and swore at a passenger who attempted to intervene, said witnesses.

Durham police officers testified Hasted displayed symptoms of impairment and stalled when asked to provide a roadside breath sample. She further refused to provide a sample after she was arrested and taken to a police station, court heard.

In finding Hasted guilty, Justice Olver rejected a call from defence lawyer Bobby Greenway to stay the charges. Greenway argued that lost evidence — portions of video from the bus’s on-board camera that showed Hasted interacting with police — prejudiced her right to a fair trial.

On Tuesday, Hasted expressed regret for the incident.

“I’m just sorry that this all happened,” she said.

The judge acknowledged Hasted’s efforts to deal with her addiction issues but said her offences warrant jail time. Hasted, who had a prior conviction for impaired driving, faced a minimum of 30 days in jail for each of her latest convictions.

“Alcohol affects us all in so many ways,” Olver said. “You have to decide on your own you’ve got to get past this.”

Hasted was also sentenced to two years’ probation and 100 hours of community service. She’s prohibited from driving for two years.

Hasted no longer works for Durham Region Transit.

Source: DurhamRegion.com