British Columbia

North Vancouver woman allegedly drove away drunk from drunk-driving trial date

Deborah Gail Reynolds was already facing one impaired driving trial when she drove away from the North Vancouver provincial courthouse late last March. But thanks to observant courthouse staff, she would soon be looking at a second.

Court staff alerted RCMP to possibility that woman was over the legal limit as she left courthouse

Staff at the North Vancouver's provincial courthouse called RCMP to report a woman had allegedly driven away drunk from her impaired driving appearance. (Google Street View)

Deborah Gail Reynolds was already facing one impaired driving trial when she drove away from the North Vancouver provincial courthouse late last March.

But thanks to observant courthouse staff, the 57-year-old would soon be looking at a second.

RCMP say they intercepted Reynolds last spring after court workers called police to say they feared she had driven away from the courthouse drunk.

As a result, she has now been charged with impaired driving. Again.

"Thankfully, it's fairly rare that we would arrest someone for impaired driving after they left court for an earlier impaired driving matter," said RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries.

 "It underscores the fact that we rely on the community to help us identify offenders and enforce the rules of the road that prevent people from driving impaired."

Previous convictions

According to court records, the day of the offence — March 29 — had been set aside as a trial date for an impaired driving charge Reynolds racked up in 2017.

But she appears to have been late and a new trial was set for April 2 — where she was found guilty of the first charge and given a 12 month driving prohibition along with a $1,250 fine.

RCMP say they intercepted Deborah Gail Reynolds when she arrived at her North Vancouver home. They claim she was impaired. (CBC)

But on March 29, after that aborted first trial date, Reynolds drove away from the courthouse. And RCMP claim she was over the limit when she got behind the wheel at around 11 a.m.

Reynolds was previously convicted of impaired driving in March 2014 and fined $1,000.

According to court records, B.C.'s Superintendent of Motor Vehicles issued a driving prohibition and impounded her vehicle in July of 2017.

But Reynolds won a B.C. Supreme Court decision putting the prohibition aside and ordering a new hearing.

'A natural human response'

Reynolds' next court appearance is set for Oct. 9. The new allegation has not been proven in court.

DeVries said catching repeat impaired driving offenders makes RCMP officers all the more determined to do their jobs.

"Frustration is a natural human response to things that seem to represent a total disregard for our children and our friends and family," he said.

"The effect it has on us is to reinvigorate our resolve to make sure we do everything we can to keep impaired drivers off the roads and to implore the people in the community to do likewise."

About the Author

Jason Proctor

@proctor_jason

Jason Proctor is a reporter in British Columbia for CBC News and has covered the B.C. courts and mental health issues in the justice system extensively.

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