08/05/2011 12:04 EDT | Updated 10/05/2011 05:12 EDT

Jack Tobin, Son Of Brian Tobin, Warns About 'Nightmare' Of Drunk Driving


OTTAWA - A sombre Jack Tobin warned others today about the "nightmare" of drunk driving as he apologized again to the family of a close friend he accidentally killed.

"I truly wish I had been the only victim of my actions that night and not Alex," the son of former Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin told his sentencing hearing.

"If there's any good to come from this very, very dark cloud, I hope that it will be this message to others: the consequences of drinking and driving are deadly, they are real, they are enduring — a nightmare from which you never wake up."

Tobin pleaded guilty in May to impaired driving causing death after Alex Zolpis was pinned under a pickup truck during parking-lot shenanigans on Christmas Eve.

Tobin addressed Zolpis' family by name, saying "how truly sorry and utterly ashamed I am for the unforgivable mistakes I made."

He is to be sentenced Aug. 31.

On Thursday, Zolpis' family described the anguish they felt over the death of Alex."

Susan Morgan, Zolpis' mother and a pediatrician described how seeing children at work daily has been tough after her son's death. Their youthful faces make "every day at work ... a struggle in grief," she said.

She condemned drinking and driving, adding "we will never be the same."

Prosecutors are seeking a five-year prison sentence and a 10-year driving ban while the defence has suggested a sentence of between 18 and 30 months.