Edmonton woman sentenced to three years for drunk driving death faces new charge

by Tony Blais

An Edmonton woman sent to prison for killing a University of Alberta student while driving drunk and racing to beat a red light has been charged with driving while disqualified.

Stephanie Gaylene Beckley, 31, was handed a three year sentence and banned from driving for five years on Feb. 2, 2012, after pleading guilty to driving with a blood alcohol limit over .08 causing death in relation to a Feb. 21, 2011, collision that took the life of 23 year old Laura Chee.

Postmedia has learned Beckley was arrested Dec. 19, 2015, for operating a motor vehicle while disqualified.

City police said Beckley was pulled over about 2:30 p.m. in the area of 109th Street and 110th Avenue, after an officer noticed she had multiple unsecured items in the back of her Dodge Ram pickup.

Beckley, who is slated to appear in court March 3, is facing a jail sentence if convicted.

At the time of Beckley's 2012 sentencing, the victim's grieving mother, Sau Har Chee, sobbed loudly as numerous emotional victim impact statements were read out in the packed courtroom.

The victim's boyfriend, David Lam, caused many people in the courtroom to weep as he spoke of Chee being the "love of his life" and revealing he had planned to ask her to marry him.

Chee, a second year pharmacy student at the University of Alberta and part-time worker at a northside Shoppers Drug Mart, was in the front passenger seat of Lam's 1998 Honda Civic.

Lam was turning left turn onto 76th Avenue from 178th Street and had waited as an oncoming, northbound vehicle stopped for a light turning from amber to red.

Lam did not see Beckley's vehicle as the mother of two passed the stopped vehicle and continued through the intersection.

Beckley's 2000 Jeep TJ, which had earlier been seen swerving in and out of it's lane, collided with the passenger side of Lam's Honda, causing Chee to suffer fatal injuries.

Judge Fred Day called the death a "wasteful, senseless loss" and said Beckley's actions were "grossly selfish."

Day said Beckley's blood alcohol level was more than "double the legal limit" and the crash happened as she raced through an intersection to beat a red light.

He also slammed Beckley for her "despicable" behaviour after her arrest, which included her swearing, flipping the bird and throwing a telephone book at officers and urinating on the floor of the police telephone room.