A man in Ontario has been sentenced to six years in jail for drunk driving – a penalty that may be the most severe ever handed down in Canada for an incident in which no one was killed.

Charly Hart of Watford, 45 kilometres east of Sarnia, has a 35-year record of impaired driving that includes nearly 60 previous convictions. Thirty-nine of those were for drunk driving and related offences.

His first conviction was for dangerous driving in 1969. Two years later, he was again convicted of dangerous driving after an accident in Sarnia that killed one person.

His latest conviction comes after a Feb. 12 incident in Sarnia in which a Beer Store clerk refused Hart service because he was drunk. The clerk notified an off-duty police officer, who followed Hart in his car to another Beer Store location and arrested him.

Officials later learned Hart used a Corrections Canada identification card with an incorrect birthdate to obtain a new driver's licence. A police check using that licence did not reveal the previous convictions for drunk driving.

Andrew Murie, of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada, says it's the first time the maximum penalty has ever been imposed for an impaired driving charge that did not involve death or bodily harm.