A Dartmouth, N.S., man who drove the wrong way on a highway while impaired and collided head-on with another vehicle was handed a two-year jail sentence Friday in provincial court.
With credit for time he's already spent behind bars, Brandon Crombie faces only 10 more months in custody.
Crombie, 19, will then be on probation for three years with conditions including that he abstain from consuming alcohol.
In delivering his sentence, Justice Frank Hoskins said it was a miracle no one died on Feb. 6 of this year when Crombie drove up an exit ramp onto Highway 111 in Dartmouth and started driving the wrong way into oncoming traffic.
Dashcam video showed speeding car
Another vehicle on the road that day captured dashcam footage, which was played in court, showing Crombie's red Mazda travelling at a high rate of speed before the collision.
Crombie had just bought the Mazda that morning. He didn't have a licence or registration. He first struck a pickup truck in a Dartmouth parking lot and took off.
Two people who were in the vehicle that Crombie struck head-on were seriously injured.
Police determined Crombie had nearly three times the legal limit of alcohol in his bloodstream at the time of the collision.
2 quarts of rum daily
He pleaded guilty to charges from that day and from two other drunk driving incidents that happened in the six months prior to the February crash. The Crown and defence made their sentencing arguments back in June.
During Friday's hearing, Hoskins recited some of the information he received from parole officers who interviewed Crombie in jail. They said he was consuming up to two quarts of rum a day, although he would drink whatever he could get.
The officers said there were two incidents in jail when Crombie was found with "brew" — homemade alcohol that inmates make for themselves. Crombie claimed not to know what was in the milk jugs containing the brew. One officer said that during an interview in jail, she thought Crombie might have been impaired because his speech was slurred.
Hoskins said Crombie has a serious alcohol problem and he will have to deal with that if he hopes to move forward.
"This sentence could save your life," Hoskins said as Crombie was led away from the courtroom by sheriff's deputies.
This was one of the last cases Hoskins dealt with as a provincial court judge. He now serves on the province's Supreme Court.
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