Deadly drunk driver Carol Berner has lost her final bid to overturn her 2008 conviction for killing four-year-old Alexa Middelaer as the little girl was feeding a horse by the side of a country road.
But the B.C. woman isn't heading to jail quite yet.
The Supreme Court routinely gives no reason for refusing to hear a case. But the Appeal Court ruling last November was unanimous, which generally means the high court won't review it.
[ Related: Carol Berner impaired-driving conviction stands ]
Berner was speeding down a rural road in Ladner, southeast of Vancouver, driving more than 90 kilometres an hour in a 50 km/h zone when she lost control of her car over some speed bumps, the Vancouver Sun reported.
The vehicle slid off the road, where Alexa Middelaer and her aunt, Daphne Johanson, stood along a fence feeding grass to a horse. Berner's car hit the aunt's parked vehicle, then slammed into the pair. The little girl died and Johanson was seriously injured.
When police showed up, Berner admitted she'd had a couple of glasses of wine some time earlier and later failed a roadside sobriety test. During Berner's 16-day trial in 2010, the court heard the 58-year-old single mother of three told undercover officers she'd had three glasses before getting into her car.
Berner was convicted of four charges related to the crash and sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. The Globe and Mail reported at the time that the judge said the sentence reflected the particular details of the crime and the fact Berner was remorseful and unlikely to reoffend.
Alexa's parents, Laurel and Michael Middelaer, were unhappy with the sentence, saying it was unlikely to serve as a deterrent to other drinking drivers.
Despite her supposed remorse, Berner's lawyer appealed both the conviction and the sentence. David Tarnow argued police failed to give Berner her Charter warning regarding her rights, providing it only after she'd flunked the sobriety test.
But the Appeal Court ruled the conviction was solid and now the Supreme Court of Canada has closed the door to Berner's final appeal.
Berner also appealed to have her the 30-month sentence and five-year driving ban reduced. But the B.C. Court of Appeal, after conferring briefly Thursday, rejected that application too, The Canadian Press reported. She must now begin serving her prison term unless she tries to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
And the Middelaers face even more time in court. They've filed a negligence suit in their daughter's death naming Berner, Johanson and the City of Delta, among others.
Johanson, Michael Middelaer's sister, is being sued with her blessing in hopes of recovering money from her insurance policy because it's thought Berner was under insured, the Sun reported in 2010.
The City of Delta is included because the family believes not enough was done to reduce speeds along the busy rural road and that the speed bumps were too close together, which contributed to the crash, the Delta Optimist reported last year.