MLA Darius Elias admits to refusing breathalyzer

Vuntut Gwichin MLA Darius Elias pleaded guilty this morning to failing to provide a breath sample to the RCMP. He will be sentenced July 30. 

Vuntut Gwichin MLA Darius Elias pleaded guilty this morning to failing to provide a breath sample to the RCMP. He will be sentenced July 30.

The Yukon Party MLA from Old Crow did not appear in court himself this morning. He entered a guilty plea through his lawyer in front of a justice of the peace.

The minimum sentence for a first offence is a fine of $1,000.

Elias was charged back in May after police pulled him over at a check stop in Whitehorse for using a cell phone while driving.

Days later he appeared at a tightly-controlled news conference. Sitting next to Premier Darrell Pasloski, he admitted to a problem with alcohol and promised to seek help.

Beyond this, he’s refused to offer any further explanation about the circumstances of him being pulled over, or the type of help he intends to seek.

He’s continued to work at his job. At the end of May he attended committee hearings over the use of hydraulic fracturing, and on July 10, he sat through the last day of the Peel River watershed trial.

Elias was pulled over in the early hours of the day following the end of the Yukon legislature’s spring sitting. He had missed part of the final day’s afternoon.

Reliable sources told the News at the time that Elias was at the Edgewater Hotel’s bar and restaurant between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. He went back to the legislature without paying his bill in time to vote on the government’s 2014 budget. After Edgewater staff let him know, he returned around 5:30 p.m. to settle up.

The Yukon Party backbencher became interim leader of the Liberals in 2011, but left the party to sit as an Independent in August 2012 and later joined the government in July 2013.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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