Nova Scotia

Record drunk driving sentence upheld

Nova Scotia's highest court has rejected an appeal of an 8½-year sentence for a man considered the province's worst drunk driver, with 22 previous drunk driving convictions.

Nova Scotia's highest court has rejected an appeal by a repeat drunk driver who was sentenced to 8½ years in prison.

Terry Naugle argued the sentence, believed to be the longest term for impaired driving in the province, was too harsh.

But in a decision released Friday, the Court of Appeal ruled the sentence was appropriate.

Naugle, 53, has a history of driving drunk, and driving without a licence and while suspended.

His last conviction was for a crash on March 28, 2009.

Naugle sideswiped an SUV parked near an off-ramp on Highway 102, near Enfield. No one was hurt, but the family in the SUV said it was a terrifying experience.

In February 2010, Dartmouth provincial court Judge Frank Hoskins gave Naugle double credit for time served after his arrest, making the sentence six years and nine months.

Hoskins said it was "amazing" that Naugle had not killed anyone while impaired on the road. He said the sentence was meant to send a message that drunk driving is a serious offence.

Naugle also received a lifetime driving ban.

He has had 68 previous convictions, including 22 for impaired driving, since 1974.