Sarnia courthouse

Sarnia courthouse

A St. Catharines man who parked diagonally in a customs inspection lane attracted the attention of border guards, which led to his arrest for drunk driving.

Thomas L. Burnard, 40, pleaded guilty Monday in Sarnia court to driving while his blood-alcohol level exceeded the legal limit. He was fined $1,000.

On Nov. 24, 2016 Burnard crossed the Blue Water Bridge at approximately 5:30 p.m. and parked diagonally in the lane leading to an inspection booth.

A Canada Border Services Agency officer smelled alcohol on Burnard’s breath and he admitted he had been drinking. Burnard failed a roadside breath tests and was arrested.

Subsequent breath samples showed Burnard’s blood-alcohol level was nearly one-and-a-half times the legal limit.

Burnard’s parking was unusual but he had no criminal record, said assistant Crown attorney Aniko Coughlan, who sought the minimum $1,000 fine.

Being unable to drive has been a challenge due to his lengthy commute to work, said Burnard.

A mandatory 90-day licence suspension was imposed following Burnard’s arrest.

Burnard’s early guilty plea was a mitigating factor, said Justice Anne McFadyen, who imposed a $1,000 fine and a one-year driving ban.

Burnard will be eligible to drive after three months if he meets the requirements, including paying for the installation of a breath-test device in his vehicle.

Source: The Sarnia Observer