A Sudbury woman found drunk after her vehicle struck two others has been fined $3,000.
Barbara Holowachuk, 58, was also issued an 18-month probation order and three-year licence suspension in relation to the September incident.
“Thank you for taking the steps you have taken to deal with the (alcohol) issue,” Ontario Court Justice Randall Lalande told Holowachuk as he handed down the penalties. “It’s a bit unfortunate the accident occurred to bring you to this step … (But) because of your consumption of alcohol, you caused an accident. You caused an accident which was an inconvenience to a number of people.”
Holowachuk had pleaded guilty to impaired driving for the incident, which occurred at the intersection of Douglas and Lorne about 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 21.
The court heard Holowachuk was driving her 2006 Chevrolet Malibu in the westbound lane when her slow-moving car struck an oncoming vehicle and then a second.
When Greater Sudbury Police officers arrived, Holowachuk was outside her vehicle, had a strong smell of alcohol on her breath, red and glassy eyes, spoke very slowly and was difficult to understand.
She failed a roadside breath test and later produced Intoxilyzer readings of 240 and 220, the first reading being three times the legal limit of 80 while driving.
According to one of the witnesses at the scene, Holowachuk looked confused and wanted to leave upon getting out of her vehicle. A woman who was present took steps to protect Holowachuk from harm until police arrived.
Defence lawyer Berk Keaney said Holowachuk’s Malibu struck the first vehicle with a “glancing blow,” not head-on.
Keaney said Holowachuk sought out counselling and treatment for alcohol abuse immediately following the incident. She has been sober since and is attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
“She is on a waiting list for a 60-day in-patient treatment program,” he said. “She is resolved to make her best efforts to continue sobriety.”
The probation order includes a condition that Holowachuk take recommended assessment and counselling, including entering a treatment program for alcohol abuse.
Holowachuk had a prior drinking and driving conviction in 2012, but the Crown did not seek an increased penalty.
The Crown and Keaney suggested the penalties in a joint submission.
As a result of the guilty plea, charges of dangerous driving and having more than the legal limit of alcohol while driving were withdrawn by the Crown.
Source: The Sudbury Star