SPORTS

Jets goalie Pavelec loses right to drive in Manitoba

07/18/2012 07:32 EDT | Updated 09/17/2012 05:12 EDT
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec's drunk-driving woes may not be over.

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) says drivers whose licences are suspended for drunk driving elsewhere are not legally allowed to drive here either.

Pavelec is banned from driving for 20 months in the Czech Republic, his home country, for driving under the influence there.

MPI spokesman Brian Smiley told CBC News he can't speak specifically about Pavelec's licence, but in general, the rule is clear.

"If the person goes back to their homeland, they get convicted, their driver's licence is suspended and they return back to Manitoba, they would not be able to operate a motor vehicle in Manitoba because they don't have a valid driver's licence," he said in an interview with CBC Radio's Up to Speed program.

Smiley said Manitoba has reciprocal agreements with other jurisdictions that would automatically suspend the licence of a convicted drunk driver in another jurisdiction.

But Manitoba has no such arrangement with the Czech Republic.

Smiley said the assumption is that people will obey the law.

"If you had a resident who did lose their licence and then came over here and operated a vehicle, if they were pulled over by police, they would not be able to provide a driver's licence. They would then be charged with driving without a valid driver's licence," he said.

Smiley said offenders could face a $1,000 fine for driving without a valid licence.

Pavelec issued a statement on Tuesday apologizing for what he described as an "error in judgment."

"I'm thankful no one was injured as a result of my actions," he said.

"I want to sincerely apologize to our fans, the Winnipeg Jets organization, and to my teammates for any embarrassment this has caused. I'm truly sorry for letting you all down."

MORE:cbcSports