A Greater Sudbury woman who drove drunk, crashed the vehicle into a bush area, failed a roadside breath test, but later refused to provide Intoxilyzer samples in early July, has been fined.
“This is a very, very big lesson for me,” Jennifer Nahwegahbo told Ontario Court Justice Robert Main Wednesday. “I have three children. I definitely can’t act that foolish in my lifestyle…I’m just trying to be a better role model than I have been for my kids.”
“You are making some good choices,” Main told Nahwegahbo. “I hope your commitment is strong.”
Main fined Nahwegahbo, 30, $2,000 and suspended her driver’s licence for one year. The penalties had been suggested in a joint submission by the Crown and defence lawyer Danielle Vincent.
Nahwegahbo, who had been facing five charges arising from the incident, had pleaded guilty to a charge of impaired driving. As a result of the guilty plea, the Crown withdrew the other four charges.
The court heard Nahwegahbo was driving a 2004 Jeep Cherokee on Old Soo Road in the Lively area at about 9:15 p.m. on July 2 when she lost control of the vehicle and it went into a treed area on the west side of the road. Minor damage resulted to the Jeep and Nahwegahbo was not hurt.
Greater Sudbury Police officers who were in the area arrived at the crash scene a short time later and found Nahwegahbo in the driver’s seat of the Jeep, attempting to drive it out of the treed area.
Nahwegahbo took the keys out of the vehicle’s ignition, told the officers “you got me”, and got out. She was unsteady on her feet, had red-rimmed eyes, an odour of alcohol on her breath and slurred speech.
When asked if she had been drinking, Nahwegahbo replied “well, clearly if you smell it.”
Nahwegahbo was checked by paramedics who had arrived at the scene and then failed a roadside breath test. But when she was taken to police headquarters for Intoxilyzer tests, Nahwegahbo refused.
Nahwegahbo had a prior record, but it consisted of a conditional discharge for three offences in 2011.
Vincent told the court Nahwegahbo, who is of First Nations heritage, is originally from Manitoulin Island. Vincent said the July 2 incident has had a big impact on Nahwegahbo and “she has started to turn her life back around.”
Vincent said her client, who has a grade 11 education, is now attending the St. Albert Adult Education Centre to complete her high school diploma, and wants to attend college. As well, Nahwegahbo plans to get treatment either at the Rainbow Lodge or in North Bay.
“This is a harsh lesson for her,” said Vincent. “But she is committed to turn her life around.”
Source: The Sudbury Star