June 6, 2014 6:17 pm

Man convicted in fatal drunk driving case sentenced to 6 years in prison

MADD Canada is applauding the sentence of a Calgary man convicted in a fatal drunk driving case.

Kelly James York has been sentenced to six years in a federal penitentiary, two years after a horrific crash in southeast Calgary.

Tony Harrison, 42, was killed when the motorcycle he was driving was hit head-on by a minivan in July 2012.

York, the driver of the minivan, had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit at the time of the collision.

Tony Harrison’s family was in court Friday and expressed relief at the sentence.

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“I think this will set precedence for people who drink and drive and kill people” Karen Harrison, Tony’s sister, told reporters Friday. “We have to stop tolerating this kind of behavior in our society and I think six years is the beginning of that message.”

The sentence even surprised representatives from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“Actually I’m overwhelmed,” said Denise Dubyk with MADD. “This is finally making a true statement about impaired driving causing death.”

Court heard Friday that York has a history of drinking and driving that dates back to 1990.

York’s lawyer, Alain Hepner, believes that his client’s prior convictions of impaired driving led to the stiff sentence.

“I think largely the history and prior record, that was an enormous factor,” said Hepner. “Prior impaired(s) and suspended driving, the facts spoke for themselves. “

The defense now has 30 days to decide whether or not to appeal the sentence.

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