A woman swerving into oncoming traffic while her child was crying in the back seat was one of four drunk drivers fined Tuesday in Sarnia court.A woman swerving into oncoming traffic while her child was crying in the back seat was one of four drunk drivers fined Tuesday in Sarnia court.
Jolene Louise McGill, 34, of Glencoe pleaded guilty to impaired driving and was fined $1,800 and placed on a year’s probation.
On June 2 at approximately 7:30 p.m. police had been contacted about a speeding vehicle swerving into oncoming traffic in Petrolia.
An officer tried to stop the vehicle with a screaming and crying child as a passenger. The vehicle eventually stopped but nearly hit a parked vehicle.
The three-year-old child was not wearing a seat belt.
The child had taken off the seat belt before the vehicle stopped, said defence lawyer Ray Whitnall.
McGill was mumbling and nearly fell after getting out of the vehicle.
Breath tests showed McGill’s blood-alcohol level was more than double the legal limit.
The significantly aggravating facts could have justified jail time, said assistant Crown attorney Bianca DiBiase who called for a $1,800 fine.
The child’s life was at risk as were other drivers in one of the most disturbing scenarios he has heard in some time, said Justice Mark Hornblower.
During probation McGill must take substance-abuse counseling although the court had been told she did not have an alcohol problem. McGill’s high blood-alcohol level when driving with a child was indicative of a problem, said Hornblower.
Mandatory surcharges increased McGill’s financial penalty to $2,340.
On July 8 in Lambton Shores Lisa-Ann LaForme, 55, of Strathroy was driving while her blood-alcohol level exceeded the legal limit resulting in a $1,500 fine.
At approximately 10:30 p.m. police stopped her vehicle when it was traveling at 136 kilometres per hour in an 80-kilometre zone.
After telling an officer she had five or six drinks during the day, LaForme failed a roadside breath test.
Subsequent tests showed her blood-alcohol level was one-and-a-quarter times the legal limit.
In seeking a $1,500 fine DiBiase said LaForme was excessively speeding and had a prior conviction for a similar offence. The Crown had not served a notice that the mandatory jail time for a second offence would be sought.
“I am quite embarrassed I abused the privilege of driving,” said LaForme.
LaForme’s prior conviction is somewhat dated and her blood-alcohol levels were at the lower end of the scale, said Hornblower as he imposed the fine and the required $450 surcharge.
Jamieson Bruce Pierce, 24, of London was fined $1,300 for driving while his blood-alcohol level exceeded the legal limit July 9 in Grand Bend.
At 12:40 a.m. an officer stopped the vehicle due to a passenger’s seat belt violation. Pierce smelled of alcohol and admitted he had one drink. He failed a roadside breath test.
Further breath tests showed Pierce’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.
The Criminal Code requires a fine more than the $1,000 minimum when blood-alcohol levels are twice the legal limit.
Mandatory surcharges increased Pierce’s financial penalty to $1,690.
A blood-alcohol level just above the legal limit resulted in the minimum $1,000 fine for Lynic McPherson, 52, of St. Clair Township.
On June 23 McPherson’s vehicle was stopped by police in Petrolia at 2:30 a.m. after McPherson drove away from a bar. McPherson, who smelled of alcohol, failed a roadside breath test.
Subsequent tests showed his blood-alcohol level was one-and-a-tenth times the legal limit.
The readings can’t get any lower and still be an offence, said Hornblower.
The mandatory surcharge increased the financial penalty to $1,300.
A one-year driving ban was imposed on each of the four drivers.
Source: The Sarnia Observer