A drunken trucker hauling more than 60,000 kilograms of propane with nearly three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system was described in Sarnia court as “driving a bomb” down Hwy. 402.
Cody Harlen Jones, 39, of Woodstock pleaded guilty to impaired driving and was sentenced to 90 days in jail for the stunning April 16 offence.
“He was driving a bomb down the 402 . . . triple the legal limit. A strong message needs to be sent,” said assistant Crown attorney David Nicol.
The truck was towing dual trailers carrying 63,000 kilograms of propane.
At approximately 10 a.m. April 16, a motorist called the OPP about an eastbound truck that was swerving all over the highway in Lambton County’s Warwick Township.
An officer saw the truck swerve from a highway off-ramp to the passing lane. After being stopped, Jones stumbled out of cab swaying back and forth. Jones told an officer his last drink had been at 2 a.m. A half-bottle of whiskey was within Jones’s reach in the cab.
Breath tests showed Jones’s blood-alcohol level was nearly triple the legal limit. Jones was fired by the trucking company shortly after his arrest.
“It is shocking. I am so relieved someone called police,” said Justice Deborah Austin, who accepted a joint submission by Crown and defence lawyers for a 90-day sentence.
Jones is a functioning alcoholic who has arranged a stay at a substance-abuse treatment centre following his sentence, the court was told. Jones’s prior drinking-and-driving conviction from 18 years ago was a sentencing consideration.
Jones is not being sentenced for being an alcoholic but for putting the public in great danger, Austin said.
At the time of Jones’s arrest an OPP media release stated the motorist who reported Jones may have saved the citizens of Ontario from a major catastrophe.
“I want to take this opportunity to apologize for a terrible decision. It was a choice. I am working to fix what is the root cause,” Jones said.
In addition to the jail time Austin imposed a two-year driving ban.
Source: The London Free Press