Jordan Couture’s plan the night of Nov. 23 was to attend a downtown establishment with a buddy, have some drinks, leave his vehicle parked downtown and take a taxi to another friend’s residence to spend the night.
That didn’t happen.
Instead, Couture’s friend got into a mix-up at the establishment just after midnight, and was injured. Couture got his friend out before things escalated.
Couture then got into his 2017 Honda Civic, drove 50 to 70 kilometres the wrong way down the one-way Larch Street towards Elgin Street, attracting the attention of a Greater Sudbury Police officer in the area.
Couture failed a roadside breath test and later produced Intoxilyzer readings of 170 – more than double the legal allowable level of 80 while driving.
Officers, meanwhile, took his injured friend to Health Sciences North for treatment of minor injuries.
In Sudbury cort, Couture, 25, pleaded guilty to impaired driving. He was fined $1,000 and had his licence suspended for one year.
“Certainly, all the facts are correct,” Couture told Ontario Court Justice Randall Lalande. “If I could go back and change it, I would. Since this has happened, everyone in my family and friends has become much more responsible – zero tolerance – not just for me, but everyone around me.”
Both the Crown and defence lawyer Berk Keaney agreed with a one-year licence suspension for Couture, but disagreed with the size of the fine that should be imposed. Keaney sought a $1,000 fine, as Couture had no prior record and pointed out that the insurance repercussions and other fallout from the conviction will be costly for his client.
In contrast, the Crown wanted a $1,250 fine due to the high Intoxilyzer readings and for driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
“It’s very fortunate for Mr. Couture he did not strike anyone that night,” said assistant Crown attorney Jeff Martin.
Lalande sided with Keaney, commenting that he was impressed with Couture’s conduct in court and his words.
“You could be a good ambassador that drinking and driving causes bad results and sometimes death,” said the judge.
Keaney had earlier told the court that Couture’s intentions the night of Nov. 23 were good, but he made a bad choice to drive after drinking.
“Mr. Couture made a very good decision in getting his friend out of there (the establishment) before things escalated,” said the lawyer. “But, he made a very bad decision in taking his friend to the vehicle and leaving very quickly with his friend.”
Keaney said the defence of necessity could not apply in the case since Couture was not going to take the friend to hospital, but to a residence where they would deal with the injuries.
Source: The Sudbury Star