flat tire on a commercial vehicle

A Greater Sudbury man who drove in Coniston and Minnow Lake on a flat tire, and almost caused a collision, has been heavily fined.

“I plan to be sober,” John Derek Cummings, 38, told Ontario Court Justice Randall Lalande on Monday, just before he received a $2,000 fine, a one-year licence suspension and a one-year probation order, which includes the conditions he not purchase, possess or consume alcohol or be in a business where alcohol is primarily served.

Cummings, 38, had pleaded guilty to having more than the legal allowable level of alcohol in his blood while driving for the June 23 incident.

In 1997, Cummings was convicted of refusing a breath sample.

The court heard Cummings was driving his Chevrolet pickup truck in Coniston with a flat tire on June 23 and parked it outside the Valu-Mart store.

He then drove it to a business on Second Avenue speeding, weaving, almost colliding with another vehicle and almost driving over a median.

Greater Sudbury Police officers, who were responding to calls about a possible impaired driver, located Cummings’ truck. Cummings failed a Roadside breath test and later produced Intoxilyzer readings of 130 and 120, both well over the legal limit of 80 while driving.

Defence lawyer Charles Bourgeois told the court that immediately after being charged, Cummings attended the Canadian Health Recovery Centre for men in Peterborough, where he spent 42 days getting treatment.

Cummings, a father of four with a good job, is now sober and intends to stay that way.

“If Mr. Cummings stays sober and continues with his plan, he is already attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, he is doing everything he can, he is on the right track,” said the lawyer.

Lalande was impressed with Cummings’ efforts to deal with his alcohol addiction.

“It’s good news you have taken the bull by the horns and that’s what you needed to do,” he told Cummings. “In many cases, we deal with the tragic aftermaths of people who allowed themselves to drink and drive.

“In your case, fortunately, none of that occurred.”

The penalties Lalande imposed had been suggested in a joint submission by the Crown and Bourgeois.

Source: The Sudbury Star