An incident that screamed of irony and likely left parents furious has come to a close and a sentence has been handed down to a young Strathcona County woman.
Jessica Mary Syniak, 35, of Strathcona County, was found guilty of impaired driving during an incident on June 3, 2018.
Syniak was given the responsibility of being a designated driver on a bus for students who were celebrating graduation at a safe grad celebration near Morniville.
She was charged with having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration thereof in her blood exceeded 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood and did unlawfully have the care or control of a motor vehicle, contrary to Section 253 (1)(B) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
Syniak was found to have 170 milligrams of alcohol in her blood when she was arrested and tested, which is over twice the legal limit.
During her sentencing on Wednesday, Sept. 4, the Crown Prosecutor was seeking 60 to 90 days in jail for Syniak, a 12-month prohibition on driving, a focus on counselling during that time and an interlock device for her vehicle.
The defence said the sentence proposed by the Crown was not appropriate for his client because she had no criminal history or previous charges.
Judge R. M. Saccomani called her charges an “egregious breach of trust” because she was tasked with being a responsible driver for students attending their graduation party.
The defence argued that Syniak did not intend to operate the bus while intoxicated and did not have the intention to drive any of the students while in that state. He also told the judge that she is now enrolled in school to become a legal assistant. A fine of $1,500 to $2,000 was suggested by the defence as a more reasonable punishment for a student with no criminal history.
The Judge agreed to take those factors into consideration and sentenced Syniak to a $2,500 fine”
“You made a very serious mistake,” Saccomani told Syniak. “Every day there are innocent people who’s lives are lost every day from the stupid decision of impaired driving.”
Syniak was also given a one-year driving ban, which started July 17, 2019. Judge Saccomani said she could also apply for an interlock device for her vehicle when the ban is lifted.