A licence plate issue and expired validation sticker triggered a series of events that led to a 45-day jail sentence for a Gogama man Wednesday at the Sudbury Courthouse.
“I thought I was OK (to drive) because I hadn’t drank that morning, but I hadn’t eaten in two days,” Raymond Gravelle told Ontario Court Justice Louise Serre.
“Alcohol invites you into the criminal justice system,” said Serre. “You have a record for similar offences and you get behind the wheel after drinking copious amounts of alcohol … It’s fair to say you act this way because you haven’t been haunted by personal tragedy.”
Gravelle, 53, had pleaded guilty to impaired driving and breach of recognizance.
The Crown and defence lawyer John Recoskie suggested the sentence.
Since Gravelle had been in custody for 14 days, he received pre-custody credit of 21 days. That leaves him with 24 days left to serve.
Gravelle had a prior criminal record, which included impaired driving convictions, but they had occurred more than 10 years ago.
The Crown asked for a three-year driving licence suspension, while Recoskie asked for a one-year suspension.
Serre issued a 16-month suspension, as well as a one-year probation order that includes the condition he take recommended counselling, especially for alcohol abuse.
The court heard Greater Sudbury Police officers on patrol April 12 in the Donovan about 9:10 a.m. saw Gravelle driving a 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck westbound on Kathleen Street near Frood Road. The vehicle’s licence plate came back as out of date and the validation sticker on it was also expired.
When the pick-up truck was stopped, Gravelle was found to have a strong odour of alcohol on his breath and slurred speech, but he did provide a driver’s licence. Gravelle, however, was unable to provide proof of ownership and insurance.
Gravelle then failed a Roadside breath test and later produced Intoxilyzer readings of 117 and 98, both over the legal limit of 80 while driving.
At the time, Gravelle was on bail for charges he is still facing in Timmins. One of the conditions is that he not consume alcohol outside his home.
Recoskie said Gravelle, who is a qualified pipefitter and has worked all over Canada, can be productive, but things go off the rails when he starts drinking.
“While in Sudbury, he was going to turn himself in to detox,” said the lawyer. “He had a drink and was driving the next morning.”
Assistant Crown attorney Kenrick Abbott said the Crown’s office is concerned Gravelle has a growing record and is unable to follow court orders.
Source: The Sudbury Star