Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Calvin Barry

Ex-Leafs captain reeked of alcohol, officer testifies

Published On Wed Feb 23

Former Leafs captain Rick Vaive leaves a Newmarket courthouse where he is on trial for impaired driving.

Jim Wilkes
Staff Reporter

Former Leafs captain Rick Vaive’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when he was stopped in his pickup truck in 2009, a police officer told a Newmarket court Tuesday.

York Region Const. Carl Young testified Vaive reeked of a “very strong odour of alcohol” when he pulled him over on Highway 427.

Vaive, 51, is on trial for impaired driving in the July 14, 2009, incident. He has pleaded not guilty before Justice Anne-Marie Hourigan.

Young said he pulled over the former Leafs star after a man called 911 and reported seeing an individual stumbling and driving erratically at a plaza near Pine Valley Dr. and Highway 7 in Vaughan.

Young said he followed the truck on westbound Highway 407 and pulled it over at the ramp to southbound 427.

The officer said Vaive’s eyes were red, watery and bloodshot, and that he had a wet stain “in the crotch region” of his beige shorts.

He said Vaive told him he was returning from a charity golf tournament and had “a beer,” but had been drinking the night before with friends.

Vaive, immaculately dressed in a dark suit with a double-blue tie, sat impassively as a video of him being booked at a Rutherford Rd. police station was played for the court. He occasionally twisted a large diamond-encrusted ring with a maple leaf formed from diamonds at its centre.

Court heard earlier from Fernando Bernardo, who said he and his family went to the plaza to get milk when he spotted a man who looked “unwell” leaning against a pickup and then later get into the driver’s seat.

Bernardo testified he initially thought the man was ill, but later realized “he’d had a few too many drinks.”

He said the pickup almost hit a building in the plaza as it drove away. He said he called police because he was concerned about the safety of others on the street.

Bernardo said he was a fan of Vaive in his Leafs heyday, but didn’t recognize him at the time. He told police the white-haired man he saw was about 60 years old.

Vaive’s lawyer, Calvin Barry, has made motions under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenging the grounds police used to stop Vaive and demand a breath sample. Barry has also challenged Vaive’s access to a lawyer of his choice the night of his arrest.

Vaive was traded to Toronto from the Vancouver Canucks in 1980 and became the first Leaf to score more than 50 goals in a season, a feat he accomplished three times.

He was team captain from 1982 to 1986, before the C was taken from his sweater for missing a practice. He was traded to Chicago before the 1987 season.

Since retiring as a player, Vaive has been heavily involved in charity work, through the Leafs’ community foundation, the United Way and annual golf tournaments. He is a commentator with Leafs TV and has continued to be involved with hockey, coaching several minor league teams including the Mississauga Ice Dogs. He is also a frequent addition to Oldtimers’ Hockey Challenge charity games.

The trial continues.

Calvin Barry- Toronto Lawyer

By Joe Fantauzzi
Feb 23, 2011 - 7:49 AM

Leafs hero fights charges

A childhood fan of former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Rick Vaive, on trial for impaired driving, testified he called police after seeing a man struggling to stand in a Vaughan parking lot, then driving away.
Fernando Bernardo called York police July 14, 2009 after stopping at a plaza near Pine Valley Drive and Hwy. 7.

Mr. Bernardo spotted a man in parking lot he thought might be ill, court heard. But when the man leaned against a pickup truck before climbing behind the wheel it was clear the man wasn’t sick, he added.
Shortly after receiving Mr. Bernardo’s call, York Regional Police charged Mr. Vaive with impaired driving and driving with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

The trial, being heard by judge, began today at the Newmarket courthouse. It is expected wrap up Thursday.
Mr. Vaive, who sat in the first row of the public gallery behind the defence table, has pleaded not guilty.
After leaving the parking lot, Mr. Vaive headed south on Pine Valley, west on Hwy. 407 and exited at Hwy. 427, York police said.

However, during cross-examination, Mr. Vaive’s lawyer, Calvin Barry, questioned Mr. Bernardo’s version of events.

The driver of the pickup truck missed a building in the plaza by two or three inches, Mr. Bernardo testified.
But, Mr. Barry suggested one of the truck’s tires may have rubbed up against a curb.

“I’m going to put it to you sir, that you’re exaggerating,” Mr. Barry said.

“I’m not exaggerating,” Mr. Bernardo responded. “I know what I saw.”

Court heard Mr. Bernardo testify that while he was a fan of Mr. Vaive’s during his time with Toronto, it was only after media reports emerged about the case he learned Mr. Vaive had been charged.

The trial continues.

Calvin Barry- Lawyer for Rick Vaive

News Toronto & GTA
Vaive on trial for drunk driving

Former Maple Leafs captain Rick Vaive appeared in a Newmarket court to face driving while impared charges on Feb. 22, 2011. (STAN BEHAL/QMI Agency)

Rick Vaive was unsteady on his feet, smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes the night he was stopped and charged with impaired driving in 2009, a Newmarket court heard Tuesday.

York Regional Police Const. Carl Young said the former captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs was pulled over on the ramp to the southbound Hwy. 427 from Hwy. 407.

Young said he determined Vaive was intoxicated, handcuffed the former NHLer and took him to a police station where he said Vaive failed a breathalyzer test.

Vaive has pleaded not guilty to impaired driving.

Young told the court Vaive, now 51, was slow to pull over in his black pickup truck the night of July 14, 2009, was “delayed in his actions” when handing over his driver’s licence, ownership and insurance, and had a “fair-sized wet stain” in the “crotch region” of his shorts.

Vaive told him he had been at a charity golf tournament and that he had consumed “a beer,” Young testified.

The officer said he was working the night shift when he was alerted a man had called 911 after seeing an unsteady man get in a pickup and drive erratically out of a plaza parking lot near Pine Valley Dr. and Hwy. 7 in Vaughn.

Fernando Bernardo testified he was unaware the man he saw get in the truck was a former NHLer but that he watched as a man made a wide turn in the lot and narrowly miss the end wall of the plaza.

Crown prosecutor Jon Fuller presented video evidence of Vaive being taken out of the cruiser at the police station and being processed in the booking room and while in a cell.

Vaive’s lawyer, Calvin Barry, has entered a charter motion challenging the grounds under which Vaive was arrested and given a breathalyzer test. Barry is questioning the length of time it took for Young to read Vaive the breathalyzer demand, and length of time before the test was given.

He is also challenging that Vaive was not given his choice of lawyer to call.

The trial continues Wednesday.

Friday, February 4, 2011