Man now tackling drinking problem

dim police lights
A Greater Sudbury man who stole a municipal truck in the French River area last spring and sped through a spike belt on Highway 17 while drunk, prohibited from driving and being pursued by police, will serve 105 days in jail.

“I realize I self-destructed at life,” Daniel Joly told Ontario Court Justice John Keast just before being sentenced Wednesday. “I have been blaming everybody, including alcohol. I realized this perspective while at Monarch (Recovery in Greater Sudbury). I was sober when I took the first drink. I have a problem with alcohol and should have done this years ago.”

Joly, 27, who pleaded guilty to theft of a motor vehicle under $5,000, driving while prohibited and within two hours of driving a conveyance (vehicle) having a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit, told Keast he has been staying at Monarch in downtown Sudbury for several months and will head to the Camillus Centre in Elliot Lake for alcohol treatment upon his release from jail.

He said he will then spend some more time at Monarch, bringing that total to six months, and then spend another six months in aftercare at Beyond the Rock,

The joint sentencing submission by the Crown and defence lawyer Robert Beckett, which Keast accepted, also featured a two-year driving suspension. Keast added a two-year probation order that includes conditions such as Joly taking recommended counselling, treatment for alcohol and drug abuse, and not possessing or consuming illegal drugs.

“What’s important here is that before today, you started the process of rehabilitation,” the judge told Joly. “Had you come in here not starting the process of rehabilitation, I can tell you the jail time would be a lot longer … It would have been six months if not for that.”

Family members were in court with Joly.

The court heard that on April 14, Joly stole a Municipality of West Nipissing utility truck.

About 10:45 p.m., police located the vehicle travelling 130 km/hour in a 90 km/hr zone on Highway 17 in the Markstay-Warren area.

The driver of the stolen truck would not stop for police and a spike belt was deployed ahead. The truck drove through the spike belt and continued for several more kilometres before the tires were too damaged to drive on.

The driver of the vehicle — Joly — had glossy eyes and a strong odour of alcohol on his breath. He was found to be a prohibited driver due to a recent drinking and driving conviction. He then produced Intoxilyzer readings of 230 and 210, almost triple the legal limit of 80 while driving.

Beckett said Joly, who has worked in construction and diamond drilling and is a former military reservist, has a serious alcohol problem.

“He allowed his life, by his own admission, to fall into a state of being engulfed and fuelled by alcohol,” said the lawyer. Beckett said that following the incident, Joly sought help at Monarch and has stayed sober since June 5. He said Joly’s long-term plan is to go back to school.

“Mr. Joly is taking as many steps as he can at this point,” said Beckett. “The good news is he has a fine head start on that (rehabilitation). He realizes where his life has taken him and knows what he has to do to get away from that.”

Assistant Crown attorney Anna Spieser said aggravating factors in the case included the fact Joly was a prohibited driver, his failure to stop for police and the spike belt, and the very high Intoxilyzer readings.

As a result of the three guilty pleas, the Crow dropped several other charges Joly was facing.

Source: The Sudbury Star