Constance Barnes’s next court appearance in her drunk-driving case is scheduled for August 10.
The Vision Vancouver park commissioner was supposed to make her first court appearance on June 29 but she was a no-show. An articling law student appeared on her behalf.
The case was adjourned to July 20. That day, according to Crown counsel Jeremy Crowhurst, Barnes again did not appear in court, and a lawyer by the name of Sarah Rauch asked for another adjournment on her behalf.
Barnes said in a statement to media on June 10 that she doesn’t intend to contest the drunk-driving charges filed against her. She acknowledged that she had made a “serious mistake”.
Crowhurst told the Straight by phone, “Every accused person has the right to take time to consider their options and make the decision whether they’re going to trial or plead guilty, and that’s my understanding—she’s consulting with counsel to determine what the appropriate course of action is.”
Crowhurst also said, “It’s not unusual for even simple cases to take a while to sort of make their way through the courts.”
Barnes recalled in her statement issued on June 10 that she was driving home from an afternoon at Iona Beach in Richmond on May 23 when she hit a home in South Vancouver. She said that she had “fallen asleep at the wheel”.
In a previous interview with the Straight, Crowhurst said that Barnes is facing three charges: impaired driving, driving with an alcohol count of over 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
Barnes has been on leave from the park board since June 10. She continues to draw a stipend.