Wild chase leads to six months in jail

Richard Froese
For Lakeside Leader

A young man who tried to flee from police while driving in a Slave Lake residential district will spend almost six months behind bars.

Jonah Chad Sawan, 23, of Atikameg, was sentenced to 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to dangerous driving when he appeared in High Prairie provincial court July 29.

He was credited for six days served in Peace River Correctional Centre leaving him with 174 days left to serve.

During sentencing, which included numerous other offences, Judge G.W. Paul noted the sentences were appropriate for the crimes.

“The offences are grave, he was driving in a dangerous manner,” Judge Paul said.

“He was drinking and driving and outrunning police in a residential neighbourhood.”

Another aggravating factor was he was in a near collision with a police vehicle.

Sawan, who appeared in court on CCTV, was driving at 80 km/h in a residential area in Slave Lake on May 18, said Andre Arseneau, chief Crown prosecutor.

Sawan damaged a fence at the Slave Lake Airport before he drove along Caribou Trail and Highway 88 and parked at Sawridge Truck Stop where Slave Lake RCMP stopped him, he added.

In addition to the jail time, Sawan was suspended from driving for 18 months.

Court heard Sawan provided breath samples of 120 mg after being stopped. As a result, he pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content over 80 mg. He was fined $1,500 as well as being suspended from driving for 12 months, concurrent to the 18-month prohibition previously rendered.

Sawan was also on probation at the time of the incident, the judge noted.

During sentencing, Judge Paul rejected a joint submission by the Crown and lawyer Harry Jong, who recommended a sentence of 60 days.

“I cannot accept the joint submission,” Judge Paul said.

“We want to deter the offender from doing this again. We try to tell others you can’t act that way.”

Sawan has little memory of the incident.

“He doesn’t remember much because he was intoxicated,” Jong said.

Share this post

Post Comment