09/02/2012 12:01 EDT

Maygan Sensenberger, Senator Rod Zimmer's Wife, Has Criminal Record For Drunk Driving


It seems Maygan Sensenberger's current foray into the legal system is not her first. She has a criminal record.

Sensenberger was charged with drunk driving in early 2008 in her native Collingwood, Ont., according to iPolitics. She pleaded guilty roughly one year later and received a fine and an order not to drive for one year.

At the time of the offence, which involved a collision, Sensenberger was 18 and so not of legal drinking age in Ontario.

The new information comes amid a lull in the court proceedings against Sensenberger that were triggered by an incident on a flight from Ottawa to Saskatoon.

Sensenberger is charged with uttering threats and causing a disturbance (the charge of endangering an aircraft has been dropped) and has been released on bail. She can currently only contact her husband, Sen. Rod Zimmer, via phone or Internet and has been barred from consuming alcohol or visiting a bar. Alcohol is thought to have been a factor in the incident.

The court case is set to resume Sept. 18, when Sensenberger is expected to enter a plea.

If Sensenberger pleads guilty, as she did in the impaired driving case, it may make her life significantly more complicated.

The case is currently before a domestic violence court and a guilty plea would likely result in an order to seek treatment and counselling. But, according to Metro, Sensenberger would likely have to stay in Saskatoon to receive that treatment.

Sensenberger and Zimmer live in Ottawa.

However, if recent takes on ZimmerBerger's cross-generational romance are correct, a long-distance relationship may not be the kiss of death for the pair that it is for so many other couples.

In Saturday's National Post, Joe O'Connor speculates that the romance between the two may be much more than an instance of a beautiful, young woman marrying an older man for his money.

"There is a mystery to love. When we reduce an older, wealthy man dating an attractive young woman to a tabloid narrative we deny the mystery, and the possibility that perhaps these two actually love one another."

Also in Saturday's Post, Tristin Hopper lists the large number of successful couples separated by a wide gulf in age. In the world of politics, Hoppen mentions Pierre Trudeau, 52 at the time of his marriage to 22-year-old Margaret Sinclair (although that one did end in divorce), Joe Clark (34) and staffer Maureen McTeer (21) and Brian Mulroney (34) and Mila Pivnicki (19).

Former prime minister Kim Campbell has had two marriages with large age differences, first to the much-older professor Nathan Divinsky when she was 22 and today to a much younger playwright and composer, Hershey Felder.

While other May-December couples, as Hopper calls them, may lead harmonious lives, there was little harmony on that flight to Saskatoon, according to a new interview conducted by the Regina Leader-Post with one of the passengers.

The woman calls the flight "the single most terrifying experience of my life" and reveals Sensenber was sitting next to the emergency exit, a fact that made her threat to "'take the whole f---ing plane down" all the more frightening.

Passengers were told by crew that Sensenberger would not have been able to open the exit at such a high altitude, but her proximity to that large handle must have added to the stress for her fellow travellers.

So far it seems that despite all that has happened, Zimmer is standing by his wife.

Defence lawyer Leslie Sullivan argued Zimmer, who has attended his wife's court hearings and sat behind her Wednesday, didn't ask for charges against his wife to be laid.

"He does not feel he was threatened," Sullivan said. "They are very close... and this is a very difficult time for them."

ZimmerBerger may survive this scandal yet.

With files from the Canadian Press.

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