Car keys next to an alcohol bottle, with a half-full glass in the background.
When people saw Eugene Coutain unconscious behind the wheel of his convertible in an industrial area on Falconbridge Road last summer, he appeared to be in distress. Paramedics were called.

It took the paramedics a great deal of effort to awaken Coutain, 52, who had fallen asleep after he was discovered around 11:20 p.m. on June 8, 2017.

Since there was an odour of alcohol on his breath, Greater Sudbury Police officers became involved.

Coutain failed a Roadside breath test and later produced Intoxilyzer readings of 140 and 150, almost double the legal allowable level of alcohol of 80 while driving.

He was charged with impaired driving and having more than the legal allowable level of alcohol in his system while driving.

Coutain, who acted as his own lawyer, told Ontario Court Justice Paul Belefontaine that he had contacted his sister to come to his workplace to pick him up and take him home. Or, failing that, he said he was waiting for the current shift at his workplace to finish so a co-worker could drive him home.

Belefontaine, however, ruled Thursday that while those arguments did have some merit, Coutain was still found in care and control of the vehicle.

“In my view, there was a very real risk you would awaken at some point and make the decision to drive home … and you would present a danger to the public,” the judge said in finding Coutain guilty of both drinking and driving charges.

As a result, Bellefontaine fined Coutain $1,000 and issued a one-year licence suspension on the impaired driving charge. He stayed the other charge.

The Crown had sought an increased fine of $1,200, but Coutain told Belefontaine the $1,200 penalty would be difficult to pay and “this is going to be detrimental to my job.”

Coutain had no prior record.

Source: The Sudbury Star