Former Leaf captain Rick Vaive cleared of drunk driving
Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Rick Vaive has been found not guilty on two impaired driving charges.
An Ontario judge ruled Thursday afternoon that Vaive was not guilty of driving with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood and of impaired driving.
There wasn't proof beyond a reasonable doubt Vaive's ability to drive was impaired by alcohol, she said. Vaive was arrested after a traffic stop north of Toronto in July 2009.
At the time he was stopped, Vaive, 52, was on his way back to his home in Oakville, Ont., from a two-day charity golf tournament in Gravenhurst, Ont.
Vaive's lawyer, Calvin Barry, told reporters outside the Newmarket courtroom that his client is happy with the verdict.
"It’s a lot of pressure off him. It was killing him," he said.
"He's just a lovable nice fellow, and it was very tough on him. And he is very, very happy today. It's probably the best day that he has had in years."
During the trial, Vaive testified he took the wheel after drinking six beers, twice his usual self-imposed limit of three.
But he maintained he wasn't drunk and felt fine to tackle the roughly three-hour drive to Oakville.
Court also heard the former NHL player suffers from chronic joint pain, sleep apnea and a bladder condition that makes it hard to control his urination.
He told court the condition — not alcohol — caused him to wet himself while driving that night.
Vaive, who became the first Maple Leaf to score 50 goals in a season in 1982, had pleaded not guilty to both charges.
With files from The Canadian Press