Former Leafs captain testifies he wasn't drunk
Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Rick Vaive testified on Wednesday he wasn't drunk the night he was arrested for impaired driving on July 14, 2009 in Vaughn after a charity golf event.
The trial, now in its third day after originally starting in February, was attended by his wife and his two lawyers.
Vaive, now 52, told the court he only drank six beers all day during a charity golf tournament in Gravenhurst before York Regional Police officers stopped him that night around 8 p.m. near Highways 407 and 427.
Police have testified they noticed a vehicle was being driven erratically.
They arrested Vaive and took him to a police station for a breathalyzer test. The arresting officer has testified that Vaive failed that test.
A toxicology expert testified on Wednesday that Vaive's blood-alcohol level would have been more than two times the legal limit at the time he was pulled over.
However, despite the breathalyzer result and a police video obtained by CTV of the former captain failing the breathalyzer test, Vaive insisted he wasn't drunk that evening.
"My ability to drive was fine. If I had any issues with it…I would not have driven," Vaive told the court.
Vaive did say however that he was feeling tired and sore at the time. He told the court he suffers from a weak bladder and takes anxiety medication.
Earlier in the day, an officer testified that Vaive smelled of alcohol and that he had a wet stain in his crotch area when he was pulled over.
Vaive's lawyer told reporters outside the Newmarket court that the former captain has taken the position of pleading not guilty.
"We'll have to see what the judge says at the end of the trial," Calvin Barry said.
Vaive's trial will continue on Friday. He is on trial for both impaired driving and driving with a blood-alcohol level of greater than .08.
If he is found guilty, the minimum fine for such charges would be $1,000 for each offence. The maximum jail sentence for the offences is five years in prison.
Vaive began his NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks, who chose him fifth overall in the 1979 entry draft. In the 1979-80 season, that club dealt him to the Leafs as part of a four-player deal that sent Leafs fan favourite Dave "Tiger" Williams westward.
In the 1981-82 season, Vaive scored 54 goals, making him the first Leaf to ever score more than 50 in one season. He would go on to score 51 and 52 goals in the next two seasons.
Vaive served as the Leafs' captain for four seasons. He was stripped of the honour in the 1985-86 season after missing a practice by oversleeping.
The Leafs made the playoffs during five of Vaive's seven seasons with the club. He remains one of the club's top 10 scoring leaders.
With a report from CTV Toronto's John Musselman.