Car keys next to an alcohol bottle, with a half-full glass in the background.
A 25-year-old man found asleep and slouched over the steering wheel of a stopped, running vehicle in the Minnow Lake area has been fined $1,000 and had his driver’s licence suspended for one year.

“I fully regret my decision,” Caleb Oliver told Ontario Court Justice Andrew Buttazzoni on Monday just before receiving the sentence. “I know somebody else could have been hurt and I could have been hurt, but no one was. You won’t see me in here again.”

“It was, Mr. Oliver, very fortunate your vehicle was not moving any further that night,” commented Buttazzoni. “It was in gear when the police officers showed up … Your deduction is correct. Things could have been a lot worse if you had attempted to drive further.”

Oliver had pleaded guilty to impaired driving concerning the Feb. 25 incident.

The Crown and defence lawyer Alyssa Caverson recommended the sentence.

The court heard that about 2:30 a.m. Feb. 25, people saw a man in the driver’s seat of a stopped Ford vehicle near Second Avenue. About one hour later, he was observed still in the driver’s seat, slumped over the steering wheel and not moving.

Greater Sudbury Police officers who arrived about 3:30 a.m. found Oliver slumped over the steering wheel, the vehicle in gear and the engine running.

They woke Oliver up. Paramedics checked him and noticed he had an odour of alcohol on his breath, and was staggering and unsteady on his feet. Oliver told the paramedics he had been drinking earlier in the night.

Oliver then failed a Roadside breath test and later produced Intoxilyzer readings of 140 and 164, both well over the legal allowable limit of 80 while driving.

Caverson said Oliver, who attends Cambrian College, is set to graduate shortly.

“He very much regrets the circumstances that got him before the court,” she said. “He had been drinking heavily earlier in the evening and he made the decision to try to get home … He really regrets the lapse in judgment he made on the 25th.”

Oliver had no prior record.

Source: The Sudbury Star