One driver fled police on three wheels, leaving a trail of sparks. Another sped past an officer and flipped his vehicle. A third banged her head on the hood of someone else’s car.
And those are just a few highlights — or lowlights, it should probably be said — among a dozen cases of drunk driving that Greater Sudbury Police encountered in the latter part of September.
While 12 individuals have been charged with impaired — and other offences — relating to the incidents, the charges remain to be heard in court and the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
A wild flight attempt on Sept. 29 is perhaps the most dramatic of the recent incidents.
One driver, 29, was driving erratically, police said, when he struck another vehicle and a centre median, causing a wheel to snap off and strike another vehicle.
“The driver fled the scene without stopping and offering assistance to the other drivers involved,” police said. “The accused continued to drive his motor vehicle at a high rate of speed with only three wheels and trailing sparks behind him.”
The driver then lost control and “caused damage to the residential property that his vehicle landed on.” His airbags also inflated from the impact, yet he continued to drive “with the airbags now deployed.”
Officers ultimately located the driver parked at his residence.
Derek Laurikainen was charged with impaired driving over 80 mgs, failing to stop at scene of an accident, and dangerous driving.
Curtis Mantha, 21, also faces a dangerous driving charge, on top of impaired driving, after a driver raced away from a police officer on Sept. 22 and flipping his vehicle.
“An officer who was stopped at a bridge construction light witnessed a vehicle accelerate sharply and swerve around his car,” police said in a release. “The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but was unable to do so due to excessive speeds.”
The vehicle eventually failed to negotiate a sharp corner and left the roadway, flipping onto its roof.
“Upon dealing with the accused, he exhibited signs of alcohol consumption,” police said. “A roadside test registered a fail and subsequent breath tests confirmed alcohol over the legal limit.”
On the same day, police had a hard time getting another inebriated driver to co-operate.
In another case, officers approached a woman after she was involved in a single-vehicle collision.
“During her arrest she attempted to resist by pulling away from the officer, screaming and yelling and slamming her head upon the hood of a witness’s vehicle,” police said.
“Once at the station, the accused refused to provide a breath sample for analysis. Officers explained the charge associated with refusing and the accused still denied providing one.”
Jennifer Armstrong, 27, was charged with impaired driving, refusing to provide a breath sample, resisting a peace officer and mischief under $5,000.
A man also refused to provide a breath sample when police demanded one on Sept. 7.
Not only that, the driver was found to be carrying a concealed weapon.
Police said they were called to a disturbance involving “a man who appeared to be intoxicated yelling outside,” and located the accused behind the wheel of a vehicle.
“A roadside demand was made and the accused refused to provide a proper breath sample into the approved instrument,” police said. “It was explained to him the charge he would face, but he continued to refuse.”
Meanwhile a search by officers revealed a concealed weapon.
The accused also did not update the address on his driver’s licence.
Dante Simpson, 25, was charged with refusing to provide a breath sample, carrying a concealed weapon and failing to notify the ministry of a change of address.
Jean Marc Dignard, 31, was charged with impaired and dangerous driving on Sept. 14 after a driver was spotted “swerving all over the road, crossing the centre lane and driving on the shoulder,” according to a release.
Officers were able to locate the vehicle and the driver exhibited signs of alcohol consumption.
A roadside test registered a fail and subsequent breath tests confirmed alcohol over the legal limit.
Swerving was also a factor in the arrest of Debby Dennis, 56.
On Sept. 15, officers were alerted to a vehicle that “crossed the centre lane, nearly striking another vehicle head-on,” a release states. “Other witnesses observed this vehicle swerving all over the road.”
Officers noted signs of alcohol consumption when dealing with the driver and administered a roadside test. Subsequent breath tests confirmed alcohol over the legal limit and Dennis was charged with impaired driving over 80 mgs.
Another woman about the same age was charged with dangerous driving on Sept. 21 after causing a multi-vehicle collision.
“Witnesses called police to report a vehicle being driven dangerously that eventually caused a collision involving several vehicles,” police said. “Officers located the vehicle and the driver exhibited signs of alcohol consumption.”
Barbara Holowachuk, 57, was charged with impaired driving over 80 mgs and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
Police also dealt with a couple of cases of drivers being passed out at the wheel last month.
On Sept. 15, a 61-year-old woman was found asleep at the side of the road in the driver’s seat.
“Upon being woken, the driver exhibited signs of alcohol consumption,” police said.
She would not provide a breath sample and was accordingly charged for that refusal.
Officers charged Dawn Chew.
Another woman was similarly found “slumped at the wheel” on Sept. 19, although in this case the vehicle was in an intersection.
“Witnesses opened the door and placed the vehicle in park, removed the keys and called police and Emergency Medical Services,” police said. “Once woken the driver exhibited signs of alcohol consumption. A roadside test registered a fail and subsequent breath tests confirmed alcohol over the legal limit.”
Jennifer Dumoulin, 34, was charged with impaired driving over 80 mgs.
Maxime Chaperon, 24, was charged with impaired over 80 mgs on Sept. 27 after a driver was involved in a two-vehicle collision.
“One driver involved was attempting to leave and the other driver was concerned about sobriety,” police said.
Chaperon failed a breath test and was also found to have a licence that did not permit him to consume any alcohol.
Apart from the impaired charge he faces a charge for being a Class G2 licence holder with blood alcohol over zero.
Two days later, on Sept. 29, police encountered a nearly identical scene: a two-vehicle collision, and an intoxicated male driver in his mid-20s.
Dustin Schmidt, 26, was charged with impaired driving over 80 mgs after failing a breath test.
All of the drivers charged had their licence suspended for 90 days and vehicle impounded for seven days.
Source: The Sudbury Star