An American from Buffalo who has six prior convictions for impaired driving in the United States can now add a conviction for the same offence in Canada.
Jeffery Dickerson, 53, appeared Tuesday in an Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines and pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol. The offence took place Nov. 7, on the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie.
Assistant Crown attorney Graeme Leach said Dickerson was alone in his pick-up truck when it crashed into a closed gate on the Peace Bridge. Canada Customs officers thought the driver might have suffered a medical issue because he was holding his head and had blood on his shirt.
An odour of alcohol was coming from the driver and a bottle of vodka was found in the centre compartment of the truck. A second bottle of liquor was also located along with bottles of Mike’s hard lemonade.
Leach said Dickerson refused to get out of the vehicle so he had to be removed. He could not stand on his own and fell down. Dickerson had to be put on a stretcher and was taken to hospital.
When asked by the doctor if he knew what day of the week it was he replied Thursday or Friday and then said he didn’t know. When asked what year it was he said 2019, while continuing to cough up blood.
“He has no Canadian record, but he has an American record that includes six convictions for impaired driving,” said Leach, who asked the judge to consider a $2,000 fine.
“His vehicle has been impounded and he will have to deal with customs,” added Leach.
Defence lawyer V.J. Singh said Dickerson is an alcoholic and his wife doesn’t have the financial means to get him released from jail.
“His sister has the means, but she’s not rushing to his rescue,” said Singh. “Canadians are nice, but it’s not home. Hopefully he has learned from this negative experience.”
Judge Hugh Atwood said it sounds like “things are pretty advanced if you are coughing up blood. That’s a sign that the liver and stomach are going and that’s a shame.”
Dickerson was given credit for nine days of pretrial custody and fined $400.
The judge advised Dickerson he might wish to consider attending meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous because there are meetings every night of the week.
“Good luck and I hope you get it under control,” said Atwood.
Source: Niagara Falls Review