British Columbia

Drunk-driving charge dropped against B.C. MLA

B.C. Crown prosecutors have dropped a drunk driving charge against Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite, following her arrest at a roadside stop last year during the Olympic Games.
B.C. Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite has pleaded guilty to one charge of operating a vehicle with without due care, on Tuesday in North Vancouver. (

B.C. Crown prosecutors have dropped a drunk driving charge against Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite, following her arrest at a roadside stop last year during the Olympic Games.

The North Vancouver MLA was stopped at an RCMP road check in North Vancouver last February as she was heading home from visiting two Olympic pavilions.

She was originally charged  with one count of operating a motor vehicle while having a blood alcohol level over .08 after she blew 0.11, according to police.

But on Tuesday in court, that charge was dropped by Crown prosecutors who said they had insufficient evidence to proceed with the charge.

Prosecutors said police failed to administer a breathalyzer test at the station within two hours a roadside test, as required by the courts.

Instead, Thornthwaite pleaded guilty to a Motor Vehicle Act infraction of driving without due care and attention. The judge noted she had a clean driving record and fined Thornthwaite $500 and suspended her licence for one month.

Outside the court Thornthwaite apologized to the public, and said she no longer drinks any amount of alcohol before driving. When asked if she had gotten off on a technicality, Thornthwaite said justice had taken its proper course.

"I think that everybody, including MLAs are entitled to a fair hearing, and I think that's what happened here today."

First elected in the North Vancouver-Seymour riding in the May 2009 general election, Thornthwaite is a former dietician and former chair of the North Vancouver Board of Education.